LGBT mentoring scheme

This scheme matches students with employers across a range of occupations in Birmingham to get advice on how to be happy and fulfilled as an out lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender employee. Now in its third year, as far as we know it is the only such University scheme in the UK.

What is the LGBT mentoring scheme?

Deciding on a career, applying for a job, and managing the transition from university to work can be a challenge; even more if you have to decide on whether to come out at work. The good news is that there are many people who are out at work across a wide range of occupations, ranging from 'first-jobbers' to chief executives who have made this transformation with great success.

The aim of this scheme is to match LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender) students with mentors in Birmingham from a range of occupations to receive guidance and advice about the choices they made in their careers. You will meet your mentor at least three times between November and March to benefit from their experiences as out men and women in the workplace.

The scheme is run jointly by the Equality and Diversity team, the Guild LGBTQ Association, Careers Network and Sean Russell Consulting and sponsored by the Birmingham-based law firm Wragge, Lawrence, Graham & Co.

Who can apply?

The scheme is open to undergraduates and postgraduates of any year. It will give you the knowledge and skills needed to prepare and excel as an LGBT employee in the workplace. Our mentors will work with you to:

  • devise your own personal coming out strategy
  • advise on general employability issues
  • develop your network and provide ideas for developing contacts
  • help boost your personal development and reflection
  • increase your confidence
  • build evidence of developing your own career management skills to include on CVs, applications and at interviews

How to apply

Applications are now open for the 2014/15 scheme. To apply, download the application form below and send to lgbtms@contacts.bham.ac.uk. For a detailed overview of what is involved, please read the handbook.

For information about the scheme and details of briefing events, visit the LGBTA stand at the Societies Fair. If you would like to have a mentor, come along to the launch event on Tuesday, 21 October at 18.30 in the Nuffield Building where you will be able to meet a variety of LGBT people who are out at work. Here you will have the opportunity to express a preference for a mentor. Once you have been matched, we’ll put you in touch and ask you to meet your mentor at least three times between November and March. If you wish to attend the evening, please email lgbtms@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

The deadline for applications to the scheme is 26 October 2014.

How can I get involved as a mentor?

If you are out at work and have mentoring experience we are always eager to recruit additional mentors to diversify the knowledge and expertise we can offer. A good mentor should be: a good listener, an effective questioner and non-judgmental, willing to share expertise and network contacts. If you would like to apply to be a mentor, please email Sean Russell at lgbtms@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

See what our previous mentees had to say

"I think every LGBT student can benefit from this scheme. It's really helpful having someone who can relate to your own LGBT experiences."

"I've learned a load of skills in dealing with LGBT issues in the workplace."

"I'd always been concerned about how accepting employers are of LGBT individuals, and thanks to my mentor, I now have a better idea about what to expect."

Previous mentors

Our mentors also enjoy participating in the scheme:

"A great way to get involved with an important community in the city."

"Great to give something back; I wish I'd have a scheme like this when I was a student."

"Great way to update myself on what on what life at university is now like especially for a graduate recruiter."