The Career Mentoring Programme 

Do you want to inspire others by passing on your unique experiences, career knowledge and expertise? The University of Aberdeen Career Mentoring Programme can give you the opportunity to support our students in developing their own career ideas.

The Career Mentoring Programme is a 6-month partnership offering students a unique opportunity to be matched with an experienced professional to gain one-to-one careers advice and support in a specific profession and sector.

The role of the mentor

We are seeking mentors who are able to:

  • Communicate effectively with students and University of Aberdeen staff involved in mentoring.

  • Apply their own knowledge and life experiences when advising and supporting students in their decision-making about the development of their employability and what to do after they leave university.

  • Be clear about confidentiality and understand the importance of mentoring boundaries.

  • Demonstrate a positive approach towards University of Aberdeen students and be motivated by the need to support their career development.

  • Demonstrate a receptive and non-judgemental attitude towards University of Aberdeen students of any gender, sexual identity, ethnic origin, culture, religion or who may have a disability.

  • Show a willingness to be open and to share their experiences and advice.

Benefits of being a mentor

The benefits of being a mentor include:

  • Career development - enhance your people management and relationship building skills.

  • A new perspective - look at your own job with fresh eyes.

  • Increased job satisfaction.

  • Keep up to date with developments in higher education and qualification structures.

  • Broaden your professional network.

  • Continuing professional development (CPD).

What's involved?

The Career Mentoring Programme involves matching students with a suitable volunteer mentor in a one-to-one relationship. As a mentor on the programme, it is your responsibility to:

  • Prepare fully for involvement in the programme.

  • Be able to commit to 1-2 hours per month to the mentorship during the 6-month programme. You can interact with your mentee either face-to-face or virtually, by phone, email or Skype.

  • Provide the institution with feedback on your experience to help us plan future developments.

  • Celebrate your mentoring partnership and achievements with the institution.

We reiterate to students that the programme does not guarantee a work placement or future graduate employment.

In recognition of the skills that are achieved through the Career Mentoring Programme students can have their participation in the programme recorded on their Enhanced Transcript (ET), a national, standardised document that records a student’s academic work, prizes and co-curricular activities. We will ask for mentor confirmation of student participation throughout the programme.

As a mentor you will be providing current students with the benefit of your experience in a particular profession or employment area. Discussions could cover:

  • Exploring career options in your area.
  • Recruitment procedures used by your organisation.
  • Information about current developments within your occupation / organisation.
  • Getting started in your career.
  • Learning about the job market in your area.
  • Advising on strategy to help career progression.
  • Discovering the skills required for work in your field.

Timeline

The programme runs for a 6-month period during the academic year as follows:

  • Round 1 (September to April): All undergraduate students for the General, Law, Engineering and Biosciences streams.

  • Round 2 (January to August): All postgraduate students for the General, Law, Engineering and Biosciences streams.

  • Medicine stream (May to December): New 3rd and 4th year MBChB students in May each year.

Who is eligible to become a mentor?

Mentors can work in any sector and occupation, be employed or self-employed. The Career Mentoring Programme consists of five streams and we are seeking graduates from any institution as follows:

  • General stream - Graduates from all disciplines and occupations. 

  • Biosciences stream - Graduates from all types of biosciences subjects.

  • Engineering stream - Graduates from all types of engineering subjects.

  • Law stream - Professionals who originally graduated in law or those who later converted to law and who are currently working in the legal profession or who have chosen a different career path.

  • Medicine stream - Graduates of the MBChB programme. You may be at any stage of your career from FY2 onwards and working in any medical specialism.

How to apply

Please apply here via an online form – this should only take about 10 minutes to complete. We ask you to provide a short statement (around 150 words) that can be shared with students anonymously. This should cover the main functions of your current role, and any areas in which you have worked or have experience in and for which you could offer advice.

Further information

If you would like to talk to us about the Career Mentoring Programme, please email mentor@abdn.ac.uk or call us on 01224 273601.

We also have a range or resources to support mentors and mentees on the programme.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the Career Mentoring Programme last?

The programme runs for a 6-month period during the academic year as follows:

  • Round 1 (September to April): All undergraduate students for the General, Law, Engineering and Biosciences streams.
  • Round 2 (January to August): All taught postgraduate students for the General, Law, Engineering and Biosciences streams.
  • Medicine stream (May to December): New 3rd and 4th year MBChB students in May each year
How do I register to become a mentor?

Based on your degree subject and/or your area of expertise, you register via the online form.

If we are unable to match you to a student in the first instance, we will keep your details on file for future opportunities.

Do I need previous experience of being a mentor?

No, previous experience is not required; rather good communication skills and a non-judgemental manner.

Where can I be based to be a mentor?

The programme is open primarily to graduates based in the UK although we do accept mentors based worldwide. Mentoring will then be conducted remotely via Skype/Facetime etc.

How do you match mentors with students?

You will be matched with a student based on the information you provide via the online registration form. Students will view your anonymised statement and can select up to five choices of mentor. If we cannot match a student with one of their choices we will match you based on your areas of preference.

We endeavour to match as many registered mentors has possible.

How much time would I spend taking part in the programme?

You should set aside approximately 1-2 hours a month to take part in the programme. We would advise that you agree in advance to regular contact with the student. Try not to let time pass with no contact at all.

If matched, what would be expected of me?

As a mentor on the programme, it is your responsibility to:

  • Prepare fully for involvement in the programme.
  • Be able to commit to 1-2 hours per month to the mentorship during the 6-month programme. You can interact with your mentee either face-to-face or virtually, by phone, email or Skype.
  • Provide the institution with feedback on your experience to help us plan future developments.
  • Celebrate your mentoring partnership and achievements with the institution.

We reiterate to students that the programme does not guarantee a work placement or future graduate employment.

What are the benefits for me of taking part in the programme?
  • Career development - enhance your people management and relationship building skills.
  • A new perspective - look at your own job with fresh eyes.
  • Increased job satisfaction.
  • Keep up to date with developments in higher education and qualification structures.
  • Broaden your professional network.
  • Continuing professional development (CPD).
Is this all about the students finding a job?

The University of Aberdeen Career Mentoring Programme is not a job referral network. Students are clearly informed before applying and at the introductory workshop that mentors do not have jobs waiting for the students. The programme is about investigating many aspects of the students' future career path and the opportunity to begin to build professional networks.

What sort of things am I likely to be asked?

As a mentor you will be providing current students with the benefit of your experience in a particular profession or employment area. Discussions could cover:

  • Exploring career options in your area.
  • Recruitment procedures used by your organisation.
  • Information about current developments within your occupation / organisation.
  • Getting started in your career.
  • Learning about the job market in your area.
  • Advising on strategy to help career progression.
  • Discovering the skills required for work in your field.
What training and support is offered by the University?

Support material and resources will be available throughout the programme to both mentors and students. There is a dedicated resource webpage to support mentors and mentees on the programme. You can also contact the Career Mentoring team at mentor@abdn.ac.uk or 01224 273601.

What if I don't get on with my student?

New partnerships can take a while to establish. If you would like further advice about this please contact a member of the team at mentor@abdn.ac.uk or call 01224 273601.