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Mentoring information for employers and professionals

Mentoring button Since 2001, The Bradford Mentoring Programme has been a platform for University of Bradford students to connect with experienced professionals who can offer valuable help and advice based on their experiences.

We are always happy to welcome new mentors from a range of industries and backgrounds, and we are looking for people who can offer support and encouragement, give an insight into the workplace and work with the mentee to develop their employability skills.

Previous mentors have found the experience rewarding as it offers real scope for personal and professional development, and at Career and Employability Services we are committed to supporting our mentors and mentees to fully benefit from the scheme.

Here you will find all the information you need to become a mentor.

The benefits of getting involved

Below are some reasons why individuals chose to take part in The Bradford Mentoring Programme:

  • Training - You will receive training and a comprehensive resources pack which encourages the development of mentoring and coaching skills. This training can be easily applied toother areas of business and our mentors regularly use their learning to develop in-housementoring programmes.
  • Development of transferable skills - Mentors regularly comment that by working with their mentee they develop stronger skills in communication, listening, coaching, time management, leadership, negotiation and more.
  • Making a difference - Did anybody help you when you were considering your career options? Developing the potential of a mentee can enable you to really make an impact on an individual’s life and career.
  • Insight into the undergraduate community - A mentee from a different generation, gender, social or ethnic background can help improve your knowledge and understanding of some of the different perspectives of future candidates. Mentees offer an honest and real insight into what is happening within the undergraduate community.
  • New perspective - The opportunity to see your role through fresh eyes can encourage you to view challenges in a new way, which can also stimulate a renewed focus on your career development.
  • Personal development and reflection - Benefit from increased self-awareness as you are often required to ‘dig deep’ into your own background; this reflection on personal development can have the potential to move your own career forward.
  • Professional development - Participating in the scheme demonstrates your commitment to your personal and professional development and can be a useful tool when seeking promotion and career advancement.
  • Opportunity to network - We welcome mentors from a diverse range of backgrounds and career areas, so there is the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals and share good practice on a professional level to create new support networks and business links.
  • Raising the Profile of Your Organisation - You can also take advantage of the opportunity to raise your organisation’s profile on campus and target the right students or employeesof the future. This positive publicity also encourages access to a diverse range of motivated students of graduate calibre, and can be a useful way to identify future graduate talent.
  • Community Engagement - By offering your support as a mentor you are investing in the success of the local community and its future graduates.
  • Job Satisfaction - Our mentors frequently feedback on the satisfaction gained from helping another person to grow and develop their ideas, which often leads to a sense of renewed enthusiasm for their own role.

What to expect

As a mentor you will use your skills, experience and knowledge to support a student as they make key decisions about their life and career. This may include offering advice, support, answering questions and working with your mentee on specific tasks related to their employability.
Below are some suggestions of activities that you could engage your mentee in, drawn from recent experiences of mentees and mentors:

  • Discussion of mentor’s career progression / development – Background information on how you got to where you are. How did you develop? What choices did you make?
  • Discussion and reflection on mentees career choice – to encourage your mentee to research further, and in a wider context
  • Email advice and information – useful when unable to meet on a one-to-one basis
  • Help with applications or CV enhancement – advice and tips on how to develop and improve the presentation, etc.
  • Mock interview - a practice session is often a useful tool for enhancing future ability
  • Tour of organisation, meetings with colleagues, work shadowing– increases understanding of the politics of the organisation and how departments work in collaboration
  • Work experience placement – encourages in-depth research into career choice(s) and realities of job role(s)
  • Involvement in presentations to colleagues, business lunches, networking events, meetings with external clients – enhances professional presentation techniques and experience, chance to further develop business awareness and networking skills
  • Involvement in selection process / assessment centres - enhances understanding of recruitment process
  • Working on developing confidence and assertiveness of the mentee

What is my commitment?

We ask that as a mentor you commit to the following:

  1. Attend an induction training session which will cover an introduction to the programme, skills for mentors and experiences of past mentors. This will be delivered in agroup or one-to-one setting, appropriate to your needs.
  2. A minimum of four meetings with your mentee during a period of four to six months. (Please note this is flexible. You and your mentee may choose to communicate electronically, over Skype or over the phone).

Support is available for mentors via Career and Employability Services and you will be given a lead contact for any queries or support needs that you have throughout the mentoring partnership.

How do I apply to become a mentor?

We are happy to consider mentors from all industries and sectors for the Bradford Mentoring Programme. Our current mentors come from a range of backgrounds and are employed across the private, public and voluntary sectors. We look for a range of individuals, from a variety of job roles, as mentees often want to gain insight into a diverse range of work areas.

If you’d like to apply to be a mentor, please complete the Mentor Profile Form.

Please provide as much information as possible on your current role and responsibilities and your past experience, as this is also useful in the matching process.

We welcome applications to the Bradford Mentoring Programme throughout the year and would encourage those that are interested to return their completed mentor profile to Gillian Coyle:

What happens next?

After we receive your mentor profile form we will contact you to discuss your participation. We will look to match you with a mentee* who has career interests either directly in your industry or sector or where the mentee may benefit from your knowledge and experience.

We will arrange your introductory training session at your convenience to make sure you are happy with the process, and provide resources to help you.

We will also prepare your mentee to enable them to enter the mentoring partnership with clear objectives and ideas of how they hope to benefit from the scheme, as well as providing ongoing
support where needed. You will be able to agree with your mentee the different ways in which you may help them achieve these objectives.

*Although we cannot guarantee that we will find you a suitable mentee match, we will do our best to make use of your kind offer of support!

Mentor testimonials

It has been identified that mentoring assists mentors to “gain a better insight into the student world”, “develop a greater focus on diversity” and to “raise awareness of issues facing unrepresented groups”. Other mentors have commented on the chance to “raise the company profile”, and their increased ability to “develop strategies for success”.

Below are additional comments from mentors who have recently participated:

“I really appreciated participating in the Mentoring Scheme. Without a shadow of a doubt it developed my confidence and communication skills in mentoring a keen student. I was very lucky to have my first mentoring experience with xxx who was positive and enthusiastic!" (MD)

 “I have enjoyed meeting the mentees and have found it refreshing to see how enthusiastic and ambitious they are to join the legal profession”. (RW)

“Very satisfying to be able to impart your knowledge and help students to develop and thrive”. (TW)

“I have always wanted to assist those who wish to enter my profession and ensure, as far as I can, that they do not have to face the obstacles I faced when I was in their position. It was pleasing to be able to relate my experiences to another person’s”. (PS)

“ I have found the scheme to be very well co-ordinated and very useful in inspiring students to focus their minds with regards to their career aspirations” (AB)

Find out more

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Gillian Coyle at