Mentor the next generation
Mentoring is a great opportunity for students to gain real insight into their chosen industry from a professional currently working in that same area.
Mentoring involves the mentor sharing their knowledge, skills and experience to help their mentee progress to seek new opportunities at university and have a clearer idea of their career direction after graduation. It's more than giving advice, it’s about motivating and empowering the mentee to better understand themselves and their aims – and how they can get there.
Mentoring is not counseling or therapy - though the mentor may help the mentee to access more specialised avenues of help if it becomes apparent that this would be the best way forward. Mentees are also aware that mentors are not obliged to offer any work experience or employment opportunities. But there have been some adhoc cases of some mentors being able to offer this.
You can click on the links below to be directed straight to a particular section:
Why mentor a University of Birmingham student and/or graduate?
Being a mentor to a Birmingham student is a great way to connect or re-connect with the University of Birmingham.
- Enhance your professional development.
- Reflect on your own experiences and gain a new perspective from our students.
- Gain satisfaction from knowing that your knowledge and experiences has supported a student to realise their full potential.
- Raise your company profile to our bright students.
Extremely useful for students throughout their time at university and should be something that is continued. Support in any capacity has the ability to really change attitudes and emotions whilst studying and really provide a lending hand when it's needed the most.
Neena Chauhan, Social Research / Marketing and Administrative Assistant, Workers' Educational Association
Benefits for mentees
- Gain real insight into a sector or career.
- Sound out ideas and goals.
- Seek advice on developing their skill set.
- Build confidence to seek new opportunites.
To view our student pages for our mentoring schemes please visit http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/careersmentoring.
Mentoring relationship - frequency of contact
We require mentors to volunteer a minimum of one hour each month to their mentee over the course of the scheme.
Online mentor training course
Once mentors have registered as a mentor, we will then send you a mentor online training course. We require all mentors to complete this course before commencing on any of our schemes.
These will vary and this is up to the mentor and mentee to decide during the first interactions and in the first meeting. We recommend meeting as many times as possible face to face, but understand this may not be feasible depending on work load and location. In this instance online communication methods can still lead to a successful and effective mentoring relationship.
Monitoring and progress
In order to ensure you have an engaged and successful mentoring relationship we will check in at various points on the mentoring schemes. This is usually twice at the beginning stage and then half-way.
At the end of the scheme we like to seek your input on your experience over the scheme and if there are any enhancements we can make for the following year.
Ultimately the mentee drives the relationship and should be the one to initiate communication and contact the mentor directly. A few points to consider below are:
- To support the mentee to achieve their mentoring goals, that leads to enhancing their personal and professional development.
- To have career focussed discussions that develops the mentee to explore new opportunities and build their confidence, in order to have a clearer direction of their career.
- To share experiences that increases the mentees awareness, knowledge and insight into the field.
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, how your knowledge continues to grow. Helping someone who literally has the world at their feet was both humbling and inspiring.
Alex Eichhorn, Managing Partner, Tanager Wealth Management LLP
We have a number of schemes that you can partcipate in. You can either be involved in one scheme or more than one. At any given time we recommend that mentors have a maximum of two mentees in order dedicate a sufficient amount of time to both mentees and to not impact heavily on the mentor's work load.
Careers Network Mentoring scheme (Dec-Jun, 7 months)
Open to all undergraduate students
About: This scheme aims to help students throughout their time at university, from adapting to university life during their first year, to applying for gradduate jobs in their final year.
Am I a suitable mentor?: We have a range of mentors from various industries, ranging from recent graduates to professionals with over 20 years of experience.
How am I matched to a student?: Students submit an online application form outlining their preferences for a mentor. Matches are made based on location, career interests and development needs.
Graduate Mentoring scheme (Jul-Dec, 6 months)
Open to final year undergraduate and postgraduate taught students
About: This scheme aims to help students transition from university into employment. Whether they are seeking a graduate job or already have one secured, mentoring gives them access to a professional working in their chosen sector to improve their skills and knowledge to kick start their career after graduation.
Am I a suitable mentor?: We'd recommend mentors to have at least 2 years work experience after graduation. Please note that for postgraduate taught students some may have had sufficient industry work experience and then come back to university to seek their qualification.
How am I matched to a student?: Students submit an online application form outlining their preferences for a mentor. Matches are made based on location, career interests and development needs. Depending on the career interests, we may match postgraduate taught students with mentors who have also completed a postgraduate taught qualification.
Final year undergraduate students graduate complete their degree in June and are mentored for the first 6 months after graduation.
Postgraduate taught students will still be completing their degree up to September. This scheme aids them to seek support whilst studying and then aid their transition into employment for the remaining months on the scheme.
LGBT Student Mentoring scheme (Nov-Jun, 8 months)
Open to all students
About: This scheme matches students with mentors across a range of occupations to get advice on how to be happy and fulfilled as an ‘out’ lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer employee in the workplace. The objectives are for students to find out more about: choosing an LGBTQ-friendly employer, what makes a good application, how to come out and how to progress in their chosen career.
Am I a suitable mentor?: Our mentors are LGBTQ employees based in Birmingham, working in a wide range of occupations. If you are interested in this scheme please select this option on the mentor registration form given below and we will be in contact soon to provide further information.
How am I matched to a student?: We hold a launch event in October, which includes a speed mentoring session for mentors and mentees. Mentors and mentees are randomly paired and will talk for about 15 minutes, before a bell rings, then mentees move on to the next mentor. There are usually about three rounds. The aim is for each mentee to get a chance to talk to a few mentors, so that they get a number of perspectives on being an LGBTQ employee in the workplace. Mentees are then asked to express a preference for a mentor they wish to be paired with.
It has been a genuine pleasure getting to know my mentee and discussing her next steps after university. The mentoring experience has made me reflect on my working life and career decisions so far, which has been interesting!
Jemma Saunders, Placement & Recruitment Coordinator
Please see a breakdown of the schemes and the corresponding timescales. Depending on which scheme you are interested in, before it opens we will ask all mentors to confirm that they are available for mentoring.
We will also inform you by email the exact dates of each section below before each scheme opens to students.
*Please note that the academic year runs from September to June. The Graduate Mentoring scheme is the only one that runs outside the academic year, as students are mentored for 6 months from July to December.
There are two steps:
1. Mentor registration form - please complete our registration form below, which involves inputting your career details to date and selecting which scheme(s) you would like to participate in.
Sign up and make a difference today by sharing your knowledge and expertise with our students.
For further information about our schemes on our student pages please visit www.birmingham.ac.uk/careersmentoring
If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Mentor online training course - once you have registered we will then send you a link to our online training course that will support your role as mentor throughout your mentoring journey.
Some of our student mentees have gained so much from their experience that they have decided to become mentors themselves.
Chris Jones participated in one of our mentoring schemes and has been a mentor on our Careers Network entoring scheme for the last two years.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the process. My mentee has been enthusiastic and engaging throughout the year and has reminded me of some of the reasons for choosing my career in the first place. By putting her in touch with other colleagues, this has assisted in strengthening additional professional relationships for myself and has been both challenging and stimulating.
Chris Jones, Academic Foundation Doctor, Queen Elizabeth Hospital