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Career Mentor Scheme

The University of Exeter's Career Mentor Scheme is one of the largest and most successful employability schemes in the UK.  At the heart of its success are the professionals who volunteer their time to support the Exeter student community.

Our dedicated team will match experienced professionals with current students or recent graduates to meet for monthly sessions over a six-month period.  As a mentor, this provides you with an opportunity to share your skills, knowledge and experience with an individual at the start of the career in a rewarding exchange which is supported through structured guidance.

Are you interested in becoming a mentor?

We are now recruiting new mentors to join the next scheme which will take place between June-November 2023.  You can register by completing the Mentor Registration Form.

Want to learn more before you join?

You can contact and the team will be happy to answer your questions.

Returning mentors

The team will invite you to complete our Disclaimer form prior to the start of the June-November 2023 scheme.

Current students or recent graduates

Visit the student and graduate webpage to discover how you can benefit from mentoring support from our bank of professionals from all over the world.

The Career Mentor Scheme has been connecting the Exeter student community and recent graduates with professionals in mutually beneficial mentoring partnerships for 15 years. 

Our mentors are all professionals from a large range of sectors who volunteer to support students and graduates by providing invaluable insights, advice, and guidance via email, phone or online during monthly sessions for up to 6-months.

Our mentors are a mix of alumni and non-alumni, from all areas of work and are based locally in the southwest, across the UK and overseas.

There are two schemes per year that take place between December-May, and June-November.

Sharing your skills, knowledge, and experience is a highly rewarding part of being a mentor.  You can help your mentee to make more informed choices about how they learn and make decisions about their career.

Since the scheme started in 2008, mentors have supported thousands of students and graduates and the feedback we receive tells us there are many ways you can benefit, here just some:


  • You will have access to a network of fellow career mentors, made up of Exeter Alumni and industry-leading professionals based locally and all over the world.
  • You will receive regular communications from the Mentoring Team to check on progress and offer support.
  • You will be invited to in-person networking events where you can meet other mentors and students who are using the scheme, to share ideas and grow your network.
  • Formal recognition of your volunteering hours is provided by the University of Exeter's Global Advancement Team.
  • You will gain insights from a student perspective and learn about the student community who can provide a fresh view of your organisation.
  • By 'giving back', you will gain the satisfaction of helping students and graduates to realise their true potential, whilst reflecting upon your own career achievements.
  • This voluntary experience can be used to enhance your CV.
  • You can develop and utilise existing professional and personal support skills.
  • You will be engaging with a world class university who values your support
  • New mentors can access online training, a written guide, and online employability resources so you are confident about the guidance you are providing.

To make sure the mentoring experience is beneficial for all involved, we ask that all our mentors have:

  • At least three years of professional experience in any career sector (mentors range from graduate trainees to managers and company directors) 
  • An email address or telephone number you can share with your mentee 
  • A keen interest in supporting students and graduates to improve their employability
  • Willingness to support one or more students and graduates for up to 6-months on a voluntary (unpaid) basis
  • Mentors can be based in the UK or overseas

You can access the mentoring support and training resources for more information. 

The aim of the Career Mentor Scheme is to give mentees an opportunity to gain an insight into their preferred employment sector, develop personal networks and employability skills through the help of a mentor.

Some mentees have a clear idea of the career path they intend to follow and would like a mentor who can provide real-life insight into that sector and potentially opportunities for practical experience. Others may be less sure of which career path to follow and would appreciate the help of a mentor to provide insight and inspiration into their sector.

We also encourage entrepreneurial students and graduates to apply and match them to mentors who have successfully been through the business start-up process already. These mentees may already have a business plan they would like to develop, or would like an insight into the life of an entrepreneur.

You can access the current mentor support and training resources which will provide you with more information, links to documents, and web resources on how to support a mentee with careers guidance.

Contact is expected to be made at least once per month by email, messaging, phone, an online meeting, or in person. 

In person meetings can be arranged at your place of work so that the mentee can gain insight into your everyday working environment and to help them understand the culture of the company. If you are unable to meet your mentee at your place of work, we recommend that you meet at an appropriate public location instead.

We understand that mentors based outside of the UK are not likely to meet their mentee in person, so we ask that you maintain contact at least once per month via email, messaging, phone, or through online meetings.

The scheme is open to University of Exeter students across all disciplines, so you could expect to be matched with an undergraduate or postgraduate student based at our Exeter or Cornwall campuses. The scheme is  also open to University of Exeter graduates, who have graduated within the last three years and graduates from other universities who have secured a role through our Graduate Business Partnership (GBP) scheme. 

When you sign up as a mentor you will have the chance to specify whether or not you are happy to mentor graduates as well as students, and you can confirm the number of mentees you feel you could support at one time during the 6-month period.

All mentees complete online training before the start of the scheme to help prepare them for the mentoring process.  They are also supplied with a support guide and ongoing support throughout the scheme from the team.

At the start of each mentoring partnership, every mentor is sent a copy of the mentor support guide via email, which acts as a useful resource and a step-by-step guide throughout the mentoring process.

Optional training for new mentors is available on the resources for mentors section.

You can find various career related resources that may be useful in discussions with your mentee on the resources for mentors section. 

All mentors are encouraged to contact a member of the team if they have any questions or encounter any problems by emailing

Thank you so much for your interest in becoming a mentor. 

If you have not previously registered as a mentor on the scheme and are interested in taking part in the June 2023-November 2023 scheme please complete the Mentor Registration Form.

If you are already a registered mentor and wish to mentor again on the June 2023-November 2023 scheme, we will be in touch prior to the commencement of the scheme inviting you to complete the Disclaimer form.

Duration: 6 months in duration. June 2023-November 2023

Mentees: The scheme is open to undergraduate/postgraduate students and graduates (within the last 3 years) from all colleges and campuses.

Level of contact: Mentoring partnerships are expected to maintain contact at least once a month for 1-2 hours, via email, telephone or video conference. 

Expected timeline summary:

December 2022 Applications are now open
Feb/March 2023

Closing date for mentor applications: Monday 13th February 2023

Mentoring opportunies are advertised to mentees from Monday 06 March 2023

March 2023 Mentees selected and trained
April 2023 Mentees selected and trained
May 2023 Mentees selected and trained
June 2023

Mentors and mentees are introduced by email

Mentoring month 1

July 2023 Mentoring month 2
August 2023 Mentoring month 3
September 2023 Mentoring month 4
October 2023 Mentoring month 5
November 2023

Mentoring month 6

Feedback sought

Duration: Six months in duration. December 2022-May 2023

Mentees: The scheme is open to undergraduate/postgraduate students and graduates (within the last 3 years) from all colleges and campuses.

Level of contact: Mentoring partnerships are expected to maintain contact at least onvce a month for 1-2 hours, via email, telephone or video conference. 

Expected timeline summary:

May 2022 Applications closed
August 2022 Closing date for mentor applications: Friday 26th August 2022
September 2022

Mentoring opportunities are advertised to mentees from Monday 12th September 2022 - Friday 4th November 2022

Mentees are selected and trained

October 2022 Mentees are selected and trained
November 2022

Mentees are selected and trained

Mentee applications close Friday 4th November 2022.

December 2022

Mentors and mentees are introduced by email.

Mentoring month 1

January 2023 Mentoring month 2
February 2023 Mentoring month 3
March 2023 Mentoring month 4
April 2023 Mentoring month 5
May 2023

Mentoring month 6

Feedback sought.


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