Do you know what the difference between having a mentor vs. having a sponsor is? A mentor could be anyone in a position with experience who can offer a mentee advice and support. They give their mentees support through discussions about how to build skills, qualities and confidence for career advancement. A sponsor, on the other hand, could be a senior level staff member who’s invested in a protégé’s career success. Sponsors promote protégés directly, using their influence and networks to connect them to high profile assignments, people, pay increases, and promotions. They help drive their protégés career visions. This should be someone you trust and knows you very well. Basically, a sponsor is sort of like a mentor, only with more power.
According to Carla Harris, Vice-Chairman at Morgan Stanley, “Popular business press loves to say you need a mentor, but they don’t tell you what a good mentor is supposed to do for you or tell the difference between mentors and sponsorship. You can survive a very long time in your career without a mentor, but you will not survive without a sponsor.” (https://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/news/profiles-strategies/2014/11/the-mentor-vs-the-sponsor-who-gets-to-hear-the.html?page=all)