What mentoring can do

Former mentee Sam Parr

Since the launch of the programme in 2011, more than 1,000 Birmingham students have been successfully paired with a mentor by the University’s Careers Network.

These mentors have shared their knowledge, acted as role models and promoted the growth of employability skills, changing students’ lives by making a significant contribution to their 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.

‘It is programmes such as this that enable us to best equip students with the skills and experience to successfully embark on their career, and we simply could not make them happen without the help of our volunteer mentors.’

Former mentee Sam Parr (BA English with Creative Writing with Year in Computer Science, 2015) is clear that the advice he received from his mentor [Cilla Snowball CBE (BA French, 1981), Group Chairman and Group CEO at AMV BBDO], along with the opportunity to network with her business contemporaries, helped him start 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 10,000 Lives appeal has the ambitious aim of changing 10,000 lives through your support. Mentoring helps develop confident, employable students, and Careers Network is always looking for more volunteers to pass on their experience.

If you could give an hour a month to support a current Birmingham student as their mentor, find out more on the University website or email alumni-volunteers@contacts.bham.ac.uk.