Mentors make a difference
The University’s Careers Network is celebrating a milestone; the 1,000th mentoring relationship between a student and volunteer mentor.
Since the launch of the programme in 2011, mentors have shared knowledge, acted as role models and promoted the growth of employability skills, making a significant contribution to students’ personal and social development.
In return, mentoring can be a very rewarding experience and a great way to keep connected with the University.
Dilveena Sokhi, Mentoring Development Officer, Careers Network, said: ‘Receiving advice from mentors who have experience of working in a variety of fields and who can offer their top tips for finding the right career path, is invaluable for our students’ development.
‘That, coupled with the fact 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.’
Sam Parr (BA English with Creative Writing with Year in Computer Science, 2015) received advice from Cilla Snowball CBE (BA French, 1981), Group Chairman and Group CEO at AMV BBDO. He was given the opportunity to network with Cilla’s business contemporaries, which helped start him on his career path.
He said: ‘As a student living in the university ‘bubble’ you don’t get an insight into the world of work. 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.’
The Careers Network is currently arranging its mentoring programme for 2016-17 and is always looking for more volunteers to pass on their experience to students.
If you could give an hour a month to support a current Birmingham student as their mentor, or would just to like to know more, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.birmingham.ac.uk/mentors.