Career mentors and their mentees.

Career Mentor Scheme broadens its horizons

Mentors, mentees and staff from the University’s Career Mentor Scheme came to together to celebrate its successes and discuss its future.

The scheme brings bright, enthusiastic students together with experienced professionals who volunteer to support students by providing invaluable insight and advice into their career for up to 6 months.

James Roberts, a student of History and Politics was mentored by alumna Renate Samson, Chief of Staff and Parliamentary Assistant at the House of Commons, highlighted the benefits of gaining an insight into the sector of his interest: “I was interested in a career in politics, but it seemed very opaque. I needed someone to offer me a window on that world. Renate gave me insights that I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else.”

His mentor, Renate Samson explained that mentors can also learn a lot from the experience: “It’s been a learning curve for me to listen and to give James the confidence to go off and do what he wants to do.”

Other mentors have commented on the positive contributions the scheme has on improving the employability and prospects of student mentees. Peter Baldwin, Partner at Ropes & Gray LLP, an Exeter alumnus explained the importance of mentoring in helping students without a family background or contacts in their chosen sector: “I think a mentoring scheme in itself is a very small way of contributing, I hope, to creating a better and more meritocratic world where the mere fact that someone doesn’t have prebait access to what professions might be like as a result of the accident of birth is taken away,” he said.

The full day programme featured a forum where mentors had the opportunity to feedback on the scheme, share their ideas on potential growth areas for the scheme, and to network and learn from other mentor’s experiences.

Jo McCreedie, Employer Liaison Officer, said “We are incredibly lucky to have mentors who are committed to their own learning and development, as well as their mentee’s. The forum provided a great opportunity for the mentors to reflect upon their skills.”

Thanks to the kind voluntary support of our mentors, the scheme has seen significant growth over the last academic year, matching a total of 228 mentors with students which is an increase of 98% from the previous year.

We are currently seeking new mentors to join us for our upcoming 6-month schemes during the academic year 2014-15. If you are interested in mentoring a student, please find full details on our mentor webpage and to access online application form: Click here for mentor webpage and application form. If you have any questions, please contact the scheme staff at: careermentorscheme@exeter.ac.uk or call 01392 722034.

Date: 26 March 2014

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