Career Mentoring

Career Mentoring

Key facts

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

We are seeking mentors who are able to:

  • Commit to 1-2 hours per month to the mentorship programme. You can interact with your mentee either face-to-face and/or virtually via e.g. Teams/Zoom or by telephone. There will also be a chat facility on the mentoring platform.
  • Apply your 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 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.

Mentors can work in any sector and occupation, be employed or self-employed. 

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) and an e-certificate of participation is available on request.

Programme timeline: 23-24

All undergraduate students in 2nd year or above, plus any postgraduate student, regardless of subject of study (excluding medicine) can apply for the 2023-24 programme which will run as follows:

  • November 2023 – mid January 2024: appointment of professional mentors
  • 27 November 2023: Scheme launched to undergraduate (years 2, 3, 4) and taught postgraduate students (not MBChB medical students)
  • 26 January 2024: student application deadline
  • 2 February 2024: mentor/mentee matching complete with notification of the match
  • 5 February 2024: mentoring relationship period begins
  • 30 April 2024:  mentoring relationship period concludes
  • May 2024: invitation for evaluation.

A separate medicine mentoring scheme will be opening in early 2024.

Next steps

If you are interested in being a mentor, please email us with an expression of interest in the first instance and we will let you know when sign ups reopen: mentor@abdn.ac.uk

If you have a medical background and wish to to mentor a medicine student, please email us with an expression of interest in the first instance and we will let you know when sign ups open: mentor@abdn.ac.uk

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

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

How long does the Career Mentoring Programme last?

The programme will run for a three-month period as follows:

  • November 2023 – mid January 2024: appointment of professional mentors
  • 27 November 2023: Scheme launched to undergraduate (years 2, 3, 4) and taught postgraduate students (not MBChB medical students)
  • 26 January 2024: student application deadline
  • 2 February 2024: mentor/mentee matching complete with notification of the match
  • 5 February 2024: mentoring relationship period begins
  • 30 April 2024:  mentoring relationship period concludes
  • May 2024: invitation for evaluation.

A separate medicine mentoring scheme will be opening in early 2024.

How do I register to become a mentor?

If you are interested in being a mentor from February-April 2024 please follow the link for SUMAC and complete the Signup form: https://sumac.ac.uk/account/university-of-aberdeen/career-mentoring-programme

If you have a medical background and wish to to mentor a medicine student, please email us with an expression of interest in the first instance and we will let you know when sign ups open: mentor@abdn.ac.uk

Do I need previous experience of being a mentor?

No, previous experience is not required; rather good communication skills and a non-judgemental manner with a genuine interest in supporting students to find out more about their chosen professional area.

Can I be a mentor if I am retired or not at work?

Thank you for your interest in the programme.  We are happy to welcome retired people, or those not currently working, if they have worked within the last 3 years. This ensures that any advice or guidance to our students can be given within a recent context.

As a mentor, do I have to be based in Aberdeen?

We accept mentors from Aberdeen, the UK and worldwide. Mentoring can be conducted in person, or online via Teams/Zoom etc.

How do you match mentors with students?

Our software, SUMAC, effectively matches mentors and students based on the information provided via the online registration form. We endeavour to match as many registered mentors as 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.
  • Register for a mentor account with our software platform, SUMAC.
  • Be able to commit to 1-2 hours per month to the mentorship during the 3-month programme. You can interact with your mentee either face-to-face, online or by phone.
  • Provide the University with feedback on your experience to help us plan future developments.

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) and an e-certificate of participation is available on request.
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 during the introductory online 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 of expertise.
  • Recruitment procedures used by your organisation.
  • Information about current developments within your occupation / organisation.
  • Your career journey to date.
  • 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. These resources will also be available on the SUMAC platform.

You can also contact the Career Mentoring team at mentor@abdn.ac.uk

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

New partnerships can take a while to establish. If you have any concerns or you would like further advice please contact a member of the team at mentor@abdn.ac.uk.