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Why should you become a Mentor?

  • Inspire and challenge students and make a difference to their future and graduates employment prospects
  • Get personal satisfaction and reward from helping a student’s/graduate’s development and success
  • Develop your interpersonal and communication skills further
  • Broaden your perspectives by engaging with the leaders of tomorrow
  • Strengthen your connection to Ulster University, the global graduate network and our students
  • Give back to the University in an easy and manageable way
  • Gain increased self-awareness around your own value, skills, and contribution

"Working with students has been a great opportunity to share my knowledge and skills gained through years of working in their future industry.  Preparing the next generation for the reality of the workplace and the expectations employers have is key to ensuring they will be employable after university." Chris Shields, Graduate Mentor

What does it involve?

As a mentor on UU Connects, you can give advice and share your professional experiences with current students or graduates. Sharing your knowledge and experiences can help them with their academic and professional career choices, supporting a relationship that has the potential to inspire and challenge.

Contact is initiated by the mentee, therefore they will take responsibility for leading the relationship. The mentee may simply ask a few questions, whilst others may require more support over a number of months.

It is very much a flexible approach and may involve a mix of phone calls, e-mails, Skype calls and/or face to face meetings. The level of commitment and type of relationship will depend on the goals and interests of the students involved and your availability.

The time commitment will vary depending on your availability and the key objectives agreed from the outset. We don’t envisage any relationship lasting more than 9 months (academic year) and find most last between 3 and 6 months, with a couple of hours each month, but again it could simply be one or two questions.

"Mentorship plays a vital role in developing leaders at every level of an organisation, with proven benefits for both mentee and mentor.  Becoming a mentor is an enriching experience, which is both rewarding and motivating." Anne McGregor, CEO of NI Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Ulster University graduate

How to get started

  • 1. Join the network: UU Connects

    Register online.  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.

    Make sure your profile can be found and stands out; a photo and location makes you more personal and approachable for the mentees when searching and you are more likely to be sent a mentor request.

  • 2. Connect

    Once your profile is set up wait until students send you a mentor request via the platform. Accept or decline the request as promptly as possible.

    You might want to ask a few questions before deciding if you’re a good fit for the mentee. You can decide how many mentees you wish to accept at any one time. You can pause your mentoring when you find you have a busy period approaching, that way you’ll not show in the searches.  All of this is set up when you create your profile but it can be updated at any time.

    More students and alumni join the platform every day. If you do not get a mentoring request right away, be patient as more students register every week.  Remember you can use the network to search for fellow graduates too and network to expand your own professional network.

  • 3. Begin your mentoring relationship

    Once you have accepted a mentee request, define and agree mutual expectations regarding the format and frequency of contact. Encourage the setting of realistic goals and the tracking of progress when you meet either online or in person.

    If after a few attempts to contact the mentee (via their contact methods provided) they have still not replied let the Mentoring Team know so we can advise you on next steps.

    If at any time you feel that communication and/or behaviour from your mentee is inappropriate or unwanted, please be sure to let the mentoring team know by contacting them at

    Once the mentoring relationship has come to an end close the relationship via the platform and complete the mentoring survey.

Top Tips for Mentors

Here are some key things to keep in mind/action in order to get the most out of the mentoring experience:

  • Complete an inventory of experiences - which ones are most relevant for this particular mentee?
  • Network mapping - who do you know that could be of value to your mentee?
  • Listen, ask questions, probe for facts and career choices
  • Act as a source of information and experience providing advice and suggestions
  • Demonstrate interest in both the professional and personal development of your mentee
  • Enthuse and motivate
  • Provide constructive feedback and recommendations
  • Challenge interpretations, barriers or false limits
  • Work in a structured and outcome focused way