LGBT Student Mentoring Scheme
Open to all students.
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, transgender and/or queer employee. Now in its fourth year, as far as we know it is the only such University scheme in the UK.
The LGBT Student Mentoring scheme will open on 19 September 2016.
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 LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and queer) 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 a minimum of three times 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 Gowling WLG.
Benefits for you
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 LGBTQ 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 does the scheme work?
Launch event - meet our mentors
We hold a launch event in October which is a great opportunity for you to find out more about the scheme and meet a variety of LGBT people from different sectors who are out at work. You will also have the opportunity to express which mentors you would like to be mentored by in order of preference. We will then take this into account when matching you to a mentor, once we have received your application form.
(Details of the event will be confirmed asap and by 12 September 2016).
To apply to the scheme you need to complete an application form that allows us to understand what you hope to gain from the mentoring relationship and how you will make the most out of the opportunity.
Deadline for submitting your application form is 6 November 2016.
Timeline for the scheme
- Launch event (TBC)
- Deadline to submit your application form: 6 November 2016.
- Emails will be sent to confirm whether or not you have been successful with securing a mentor by mid-November.
- Mentor details: if successful, we will then send your mentor's details to you and it will be up to you to contact your mentor directly and start the mentoring relationship.
- Mentee induction training: we will invite all mentees to attend a short training session to go over how to make the most of the opportunity, hear from past mentees and have any questions you may have answered.
- Progress check points: we would like to find out how you are progressing with your mentor and will send these out during the initial stages and half-way through. Particularly if there is anything we can help with.
- Mentoring occurs from November 2016 to June 2017 (8 months).
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."
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."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.