What do the mentors think?
Find out what the mentors think about the scheme.
Name: Emma Packham (BSc Business Management, 2009)
Position: Faculty Alumni Officer, The University of Manchester
I decided to become a mentor because I wanted to support a current student in their personal and professional development and help them to realise their potential. I had a great experience at Birmingham as a student and wanted to volunteer my time to say thank you and to help enrich the experience of current students. As quite a recent graduate myself, I felt I could give relevant advice on the recruitment process they are likely to experience, as well as bringing in my first hand experience of recruiting students in my current role. Although I have predominantly worked in the charity and public sector and my mentee was interested in journalism, after a bit of research into her chosen career field I felt confident offering suggestions and advice about how she could gain experience and skills. I think the main role of a mentor is to be a sounding board for the student, offering encouragement and a bit of friendly honest advice based on your own experiences. Being a mentor was a really rewarding experience and I look forward to taking part again this year!
Name: Jonathan Nason (B.Soc.Sc. 1973)
Position: Marketing, communication and PR consultant
‘We’ve struck up a great partnership.
It’s already been a journey of discovery for Mel and myself.
A rewarding experience with a great mix of discussions, sharing, and learning – under the all-encompassing title of mentoring.
Just how it should be – we’ve had in-depth discussions, shared a joke or two, found out more about ourselves than we probably thought possible; and we’ve laid the foundations for the future.
I hope that it encourages other alumni to become mentors and students to join in.’
Name: Marc Stone (BSc Accounting and Finance)
Position: Managing Director at Stone Consulting Ltd
"As a member of the Business Schools Advisory Board, I'm passionate about passing down my experience from all areas of industry and as an alumni of the University, as well as helping connect students with businesses through my network. My main desire to mentor and coach students has come with experience and my mantra has always been "if only I knew then what I know now!".
Martin was a dream to mentor last year. An exceptionally bright student with a great future ahead. We had some very challenging discussions and made our way through some brick wall moments to help lay out the best options for him. We had lots of mad white board moments working creatively through different options.
I think that is the most important thing for any student, as a mentor is tailoring the right option for the student. There is no one single answer. There is no right or wrong. It is all about finding what is the right advice for the students.
Can't wait to meet more of you this year!"
Name: Jennifer Williamson (BSc (Hons) Environmental Science, 2003)
Organisation: Tony Roe Solicitors
I came to Law from a science degree background and without the assistance of a network of friends or family in the profession. During my journey from being an aspiring law student to a qualified solicitor I have come across people willing to donate their time to help me meet my goals. I joined the mentoring scheme because I thought it would provide me with a good opportunity to help someone else like me.
I was partnered with a law student with immense drive and ambition. I was immediately impressed by her desire to learn and take on board the various strategies I suggested. By no means was this a one way process though. The experiences my mentee described reminded me of what is needed to be a true success: willingness to identify and take opportunities, and total dedication to meeting your goals.
When the programme completed in the summer I was thrilled to discover that my mentee had secured an impressive international internship and interviews for training contracts. I am looking forward to working with another University of Birmingham student in the future!
Name: James Martin (BEng Hons, Chemical Engineering, 1997)
Position: Client & Distribution Leader, UK, XL Group
I’ve really enjoyed my first year as a mentor on this scheme. It has been a huge learning curve for me, as well as my mentee, James, and I think both of us have really benefited from the process and learned a lot about ourselves and each other.
Through the conversations we had I believe James managed to clarify in his own mind which direction he wants to take with his career plans and this has allowed him to be much more focused in his pursuit of the next steps.
For me it is fantastic to have been able to help in this small way and I look forward to working with more students in the future.
I cannot recommend this scheme highly enough both to mentors and students alike.