Mentors make all the difference

Since Careers Network launched their University wide mentoring programme five years ago, volunteers have been giving an hour a month to mentor more than 1,000 students. 

ALMP 2016

Volunteer mentors are incredible role models for our students. Mentors on our current programmes share knowledge, offer careers and networking advice and promote the growth of employability skills, making a significant contribution to a student’s personal and professional development. 

What your support means to the University:

"Gaining advice from mentors who have experience working in a variety of fields and who can offer tips for finding the right career path, is invaluable for our students’ development. That, coupled with the fact that our mentors are often very skilled at relating to our students having once 'walked in their shoes', is what makes this programme really special.

"It’s wonderful to catch up with student mentees at the end of the scheme to see the difference that it has made and the impact on their confidence. Thank you to everyone who has mentored a student since we started the programme in 2011. It is programmes such as this that enable us to best equip students with the skills and experience to embark on their career, and we simply could not make them happen without you." Dilveena Sokhi, Mentoring Development Officer, Careers Network

What your support means to our mentees:

At the end of last year's mentoring scheme, 97 per cent of mentees said they would recommend the programme to other students and many felt that they had increased their understanding of their chosen career sector, their confidence and their perseverance to succeed. 

"Having someone so experienced who was ready to listen and support me gave me so many benefits. Talking to my mentor enabled me to find out more about myself and what drives me, and gave me clarity about what I wanted to do when I graduated - something I hadn't been able to decide for four years!

"The whole experience changed how I viewed the future, transforming it from a daunting wall to something exciting, full of possibility." Sam Parr (BA English with Creative Writing with Year in Computer Science, 2015) 

"The Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme provided me with a bridge of insight and confidence over the daunting, uncertain gap between student life and the world of work." Will Hazelton (BA Ancient History, 2014)

Positive impacts on volunteers themselves:

Students have given our volunteer mentors a new perspective into their own sector, experience in managing people from different backgrounds and an enjoyable and worthwhile experience. Here are some words from our current mentors about why they choose to support students in this way: 

"As a mentor on the ALMP I get the opportunity to put something back into the University which gave me so much. On a personal basis, engagement with current students gives me a better and more in-depth understanding of the challenges students and graduates face today and keeps my mind active! it also gives me an ongoing formal connection with the University, which I value greatly." Barry Cockcroft CBE (BDS Dentistry, 1973)

"I had forgotten what I did not know when I was a student - for example, how the business world works, how you communicate with people in a business environment and how your knowledge continues to grow. Helping someone who literally has the world at their feet was both humbling and inspiring." Alex Eichhorn (BA African Studies, 1995)

"The bonds and benefits of university life extend throughout one’s career. That’s why so many alumni want to loop back and support the University by giving their time, wisdom or making a gift to fund development projects for the next generation." Cilla Snowball CBE (BA French, 1981)

Feeling inspired? If you'd like to get involved, the mentoring scheme is currently open for new volunteer registrations. Find more information at www.birmingham.ac.uk/mentors