Career Mentoring: Guided Programmes

The Careers Service, in collaboration with the Alumni Team (DDAR), is introducing a new mentoring programme for 2023.

The programme will match current students and graduates from The University of Manchester with a mentor from our alumni and recruiter communities, to support with career planning, decision making, and preparing for next steps after University.

The programme will run from February to June 2023. We expect both mentors and mentees will need to dedicate around 10 hours of their time over this period.

The programme will involve an introductory training session for both mentors and mentees, followed by a series of mentor/mentee meetings which can be conducted in person, online, or a mixture of both.

For this pilot phase, we will be focussing on supporting three specific student groups though our Guided Programmes (this is where the Careers Service will find a suitable mentor match, offer induction training and support to mentees):

  • Language Brode Scholarship students (in partnership with RWS)
  • Recent graduates interested in the arts, creative, and cultural sectors
  • Postgraduate Researchers looking for roles outside academia

Places will be limited with between 30 – 50 places for each group.

Mentees will apply using our Mentee Application Form and successful applicants will be matched based on the information they provide and availability of appropriate mentors.

Mentees can apply via our online form on CareerConnect. You will need to log in to access the form. The deadline for mentee applications is Friday, 3 February 2023.

If you have any questions, please contact: mentoring@manchester.ac.uk

AMBS Corporate Mentor Partner Programme

There is an additional mentoring scheme running within The Alliance Manchester Business School; for more information on this please refer to the website on the Corporate Mentor Partner Program, any emails from your program director inviting you to join, or email matthew.wilders@manchester.ac.uk for more information.

Why should I apply to be a mentee?

Your mentor’s role is to guide you towards making informed career decisions, to help you navigate how to find and apply for opportunities, and to give you some tips to help you succeed once you start. They will share their own personal career journey, provide insights into their current role/previous roles, and highlight the decisions they have made and the steps they have taken to get to where they are.

The discussions you have with your mentor aim to help you:

  • explore career options
  • start to build your professional network through direct contact with your mentor
  • develop the skills and confidence you need to succeed in your career planning
  • improve your employability, CV, and performance at interviews
  • gain a competitive edge over other candidates

Your involvement in this mentoring programme will require around 10 hours of your time between February and June 2023.

How will you be matched with a mentor?

You will be asked to complete a number of short questions on the Mentee Application form which will identify what kind of support you are looking for and how a mentor might benefit you. We match on a wide variety of criteria. If you don’t know the exact role or organisation you are interested in, you might know the general sector. If not, then you might know what type of roles interest you (for example, helping people, creative roles, or research). The more information you can provide, the closer the match we might be able to make.

Our mentors come from a wide range of industries, roles, and sectors. Once we think we have found a match, we will ask the mentor to confirm that they feel able to support you based on the information you have given in your application form before we introduce you to one another.

Successful mentoring is a two-way process. It is important for both mentor and mentee to agree how and when meetings will take place, to suit both parties and therefore ensure that you both maximise this opportunity to work together.

How will the mentoring partnership work?

Once you have been matched with a mentor and the match is confirmed, we will invite you to attend an online briefing session (mid-February). Mentors will also attend a similar training session.

After you have attended the session, we will share with you the contact details for your mentor. Then you are ready to introduce yourself and make arrangements for scheduling your first meeting.

Location of meetings

Meetings can be online, in person, or a mixture of both. This will depend on where you and your mentor are based and what is most convenient.

Frequency and length of meetings

There is no set rule as to the frequency and length of your meetings. As a guideline, we advise four meetings lasting between 60 and 90 minutes over the course of this mentoring partnership (February - June). We have provided a suggested focus for each meeting below. This may help both you and your mentor structure your partnership, prepare for each meeting, and maximise the time you have together. You may wish to arrange to meet in addition to this, if you and your mentor are in agreement and schedules allow.

Meeting 1: Setting the scene/Exploring the job market and career opportunities

  • What is recruitment currently like in your sector?
  • Are there any in demand roles that might present more opportunities?
  • Do I need work/relevant experience before I apply?
  • What is the best way to break into your field? Entry level roles/training schemes/postgrad qualifications/additional training?
  • What does career progression look like in your organisation?
  • Where are jobs advertised? Where are the opportunities based?
  • What is the recruitment process like?
  • How do you think your sector might change in the future/what opportunities might arise?

Meeting 2: Networking and making contacts

  • How do you keep up to date with developments in your field – conferences? Networking events?
  • Are there any useful networks or industry bodies that support networking – can I join as a student?
  • Do you use LinkedIn? If so, how do you use it in a professional capacity?
  • How would you advise that I approach someone to make a connection/ask about opportunities?
  • Who have you found to be most helpful to have in your network, in terms of career progression or supporting you with career decisions?

Meeting 3: Articulating and identifying skills

  • Which skills are valued most highly in your field? What skills do you feel make you successful in your role?
  • When you left University, did you feel there were any gaps in your skillset that would have been valuable?
  • When recruiting someone to your field, what qualities do you specifically ask/look for?
  • What should I highlight on my CV/Application?

Meeting 4: Closing meeting – Review of mentoring partnership

  • What have you found most useful?
  • What have you learnt about their sector/organisation/role?
  • Do you think you would consider following a similar career path? If not, has your mentoring experience help to guide your planning for the future?
  • What decisions/actions might you take as a result of meeting with your mentor?

Mid-term Check-in

We expect mentees and mentors to manage their own partnerships between themselves. We will however be in touch, via email, around late March with both mentors and mentees to check progress.

End of Partnership Feedback

We will send both mentors and mentees an online survey once their partnership has finished (mid-June). We would be keen to hear your thoughts on how the mentoring partnership has worked for you both.

Your commitment as a mentee

As mentees, you are the drivers behind the programme. You need to show a strong commitment in order for your partnership to succeed. You should be organised, punctual for meetings, complete any pre-meeting tasks requested by your mentor, and communicate professionally and courteously. More importantly you must inform your mentor, in good time, if you need to re-arrange a meeting for any reason. The advice is obvious but integral to the success of the programme and will ensure you get the best from your mentor. These are also valuable transferable skills which you will be able to demonstrate on future applications forms, as a result of your participation in this mentoring experience.

Etiquette

Although the mentoring relationship will be informal in many ways, it is also a professional one. Your mentor will be generously giving up their time to help you and as such, it is polite and respectful to acknowledge this. As a minimum, we would recommend that you give some formal thanks at the end of the programme, either by email or in writing.

Support

As a mentee, you are encouraged to get in touch with the team and keep us posted with your developments. If you have any questions, queries, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help. If you need any help, advice or guidance throughout the programme, please contact the mentoring team: mentoring@manchester.ac.uk

Remember the Careers Service offers a wealth of online advice and resources at which may be helpful to refer to when preparing for meetings or following recommend actions post-meeting.