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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 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 their career, in a rewarding exchange, which is supported through structured guidance.

Are you interested in becoming a mentor?

New mentors can join the next scheme which takes place between Dec 2023 and May 2024.To register your interest in becoming a mentor, please complete the Expression of Interest Form and a member of the team will be in touch later in the year during the recruitment process.

Want to learn more before you join?

Contact and the team will be happy to answer your questions.

Returning mentors

The team will invite you to complete a disclaimer form prior to the start of the each new scheme. This is to ensure we are complying with GDPR and establish how many mentees you are able to support.

Current students or recent graduates

Visit the student and graduate webpage to discover how you can benefit from mentoring support from our professional volunteers in the UK and 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.

Watch our video to learn more from University of Exeter alumna, Virginia Stuart-Taylor (BA Modern Languages, 2012) who shares her highlights as a mentor on this scheme and the Ask an Alum scheme, and how the experience was a benefit to both the students who participated and to herself.

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 taking part in 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 UK and International 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 UK and International University of Exeter graduates, who have graduated within the last three years. We also welcome 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. Registration for the December 2023 - May 2024 scheme is now closed.

If you have not previously registered as a mentor on the scheme and are interested in taking part in the June 2024 - November 2024 scheme, please complete the Expression of Interest Form. We will be in touch later next year, during the recruitment process, with infomation regarding registration.

If you are already a registered mentor and wish to mentor again on the June 2024 - November 2024 scheme, we will be in touch with you next year, during the recruitment process, inviting you to complete the disclaimer form.

June - November Scheme: 6 months

Level of contact: At least once a month for 1-2 hours, via email, messaging, phone, in person or on line. 

Expected timeline summary:

December - February Mentor Recruitment 
March - May

Mentees selected and trained


Mentors and mentees are introduced by email

Mentoring month 1 commences

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

Mentoring month 6

Feedback requested


December - May Scheme: 6 months

Level of contact: At least once a month for 1-2 hours, via email, messaging, telephone or an in person or online meeting. 

Expected timeline summary:


July - August Mentor Recruitment 
September - November

Mentees selected and trained


Mentors and mentees are introduced by email

Mentoring month 1 commences

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

Mentoring month 6

Feedback requested


The Career Mentor Team

From left to right Career Mentor Coordinators Paula McDonald, Abigail Smith, Sarah Hood, and Exeter Biology student, Caitlyn Le Roux, who interned with the Career Mentor team between 2021 and 2023.

The team is managed by the university's Employment Schemes Manager, Andrea Hodges.

You can contact the team at

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