Why should you get a Mentor?
- Learn from the experience, knowledge and expertise of someone in industry who has been where you have been and made a success of themselves
- Get a realistic insight on the skills and qualities required for specific careers, as well as advice and job search tips
- Improve your personal and professional development
- Increase your self-confidence and personal awareness
- Focus on your professional goals and reflect upon progress
- Expand your professional network
- Gain EDGE Accreditation
"I feel the relationship was a great success. My mentor was great and always provided useful feedback on every discussion. She even checked a variety of my final year assessments and made amendments for me. I began the programme primarily for the EDGE award and ended up getting so much more out of it." Rebekah Mitchell, Student Mentee
What does it involve?
Being a mentee on UU Connects is what you make of it, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.
It will be your responsibility to initiate contact with your mentor and put plans into action. Defining and agreeing expectations regarding format and frequency of contact, bearing in mind the availability of your mentor.
The time commitment will vary depending on availability and objective setting but will be approximately 20 hours annually. It is expected you will be in touch with your mentor monthly to coordinate meetings and share progress.
Entering the relationship with a clear set of realistic goals and objectives and communicating these clearly to your mentor from the outset will help you get the most out of it. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for your mentor to respond.
Do you want to learn more about a particular industry? Get more successful at job applications by receiving constructive feedback? Find out how to best use and promote your strengths? Your mentor can inspire and guide you with all these things.
You may also simply want to ask a mentor one or two questions on a specific area of interest or even location, this is totally fine as long as you are clear when approaching your mentor.
Remember Mentors are giving up their limited time voluntarily so make sure to be responsive and respectful.
"My mentor has helped me with personal and career development on a consistent basis for almost 3 years now. His advice has been invaluable." Shane McCumiskey, student mentee.
How to get started
1. Join the online network: UU Connects
You will receive an email once your profile is activated (this may take a day or two). Once activated, log back in and complete/edit your profile. You can sync this with your LinkedIn profile if you have one.
Remember to make your profile as personal as possible with a photo, location, education and any other interesting pieces of information. That way you will be more visible when approaching mentors and they will immediately know more about you.
Log in and begin searching for potential mentors.
The platform will make some suggestions for mentors that might suit you or you can search by industry, role, organisation, course studied and location to find mentors in your area of interest.
New mentors join every day, so if in the first search you do not find anyone suitable, keep checking back!
Remember, don’t narrow your focus to a specific skill area/degree, mentors from all backgrounds could be very useful.
It’s up to you to make the first move, send a message to your first mentor choice, explaining your current aspirations and how they may help you. They will either accept or decline.
If you do not get a response send at least two follow up messages (mentor email inboxes can be filled with hundreds of emails a day, and often such requests could land in their junk mail) before alerting the mentoring team and contacting another mentor.
3. Begin your mentoring relationship
It is up to you to identify objectives as well as keep the relationship focused and moving forward. A good way to do this is to ask for specific advice on your skill-set, ideas, plans, and goals. A
gree a plan with your mentor including the best way to keep in contact and when (email, text, Skype, meet – manage your partnership, your way). We have provided a sample Mentoring Agreement within the platform which will help guide you to set some clear objectives.
Not sure how to get the conversation started?
Why not ask your mentor for advice or about their personal career experiences?
Here are some starting points:
- Career planning, the job market, work experience
- Key achievements/successes
- Networking tips, social networking
- How to get ahead/stand out, references
- Interviews, CV/Application form tips
- Advice on project work
If at any time you feel that communication and/or behaviour from your mentor is inappropriate or unwanted, please be sure to let the mentoring team know by contacting them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you have achieved everything you wish to achieve from your mentorship take the time to thank the mentor and close the relationship via the UU Connects so that the mentor is available for someone else.
Complete the mentoring survey and submit your log for EDGE Award accreditation if applicable to email@example.com