Volunteering and Mentoring

Do you have the knowledge to support a Birkbeck student to further their career? Or the time to show one of our international students something you love about London?

You can contribute to the lives of prospective and current Birkbeck students by volunteering your time and expertise. Your personal and professional experience is invaluable and will lend students support during a critical time in their lives.

The Development and Alumni Office offers a variety of exciting opportunities throughout the academic year. We want you to remain part of Birkbeck’s diverse and accomplished community and by volunteering with us you can continue to help the College and its current students thrive.

Take a look at the programmes below and if you are interested in participating, .

Get Talking

  • Get Talking is a chance for you to meet with a prospective Birkbeck student who is still going through the process of applying to the College. The Development and Alumni Office will facilitate an informal meeting where you can help ease any concerns the student might have about entering Higher Education. These sessions make a huge difference and during past programmes, 75% of students who get this support go on to enrol at Birkbeck! 

Mentoring Pathways (formerly Business at Birkbeck)

  • Mentoring Pathways aims to support the employment aspirations of students by bridging the gap between academic learning and workplace practices, and developing soft skills and confidence.
  • A combination of Birkbeck alumni mentors alongside corporate volunteers has enabled us to develop a talented, energetic, experienced and well-networked team to support students in each of Birkbeck’s five schools. You and your student mentee are both given training at the start of the programme to ensure that you can provide structured support and identify clear objectives and goals during your relationship.
  • The programme runs from September to March and combines face-to-face and email mentoring over the six month period. 

International Alumni friendship scheme

  • Would you like to help an international student settle into their studies at Birkbeck?
  • This project runs during the first academic term and its overarching purpose is to facilitate informal one-to-one meetings between newly-joined Birkbeck international students and alumni. The programme is also designed to help students from around the world learn about British Culture and practice their conversational English with someone who knows what it is really like to study at Birkbeck. This will help ease the transition from international students’ home countries to the UK. 
  • View programme guidelines and signposting document

What Employers Want

  • This is an opportunity for you to be part of a series of panel events focusing on each of Birkbeck’s academic Schools. The aim is to provide current students and recent graduates with an opportunity to hear from successful Birkbeck alumni who share their personal experiences about finding employment following completion of their course, as well as a detailed account of what is expected of employees within their dedicated sector.
  • Panel events take place in the evening and are followed by a networking reception.

Careers Clinics

  • This programme requires you spending an evening (or more if you choose) helping Birkbeck students improve their CVs and give them support with job applications. We facilitate one-to-one sessions where you provide students with personalised careers support to help them raise their aspirations and feel more confident in their job searches or career transitions. Prior to the session Alumni volunteers will receive training from Birkbeck Career’s and Employability team .
  • Careers Clinics’ sessions take place at Birkbeck’s Malet Street campus throughout the academic year.  

Job Shadowing

  • Could you host a student for a day at your place of work to provide valuable, hands-on insight into potential career paths?
  • Alumni volunteer to host a student at their workplace for a day and offer them a snapshot into working in your sector.  Students receive training from Birkbeck Career’s and Employability team prior to attending the alumni’s place of work.  The training is designed to enhance students’ understanding of professional etiquette and expectations.  During the job shadowing day, alumni demonstrate their expertise, share careers advice, and engage students in authentic work place experiences.   
  • Job Shadowing placements are in central London throughout May and June.  

Volunteer at a Birkbeck Open Evening

  • If you have recently graduated we would welcome you to attend Open Evenings and speak with prospective students about their experience of studying at Birkbeck.  
  • Valentina Serra, a Birkbeck Alumni shared her motivations for volunteering for Open Evening; I believe that the Birkbeck experience should not end at graduation. I wanted to share my experience with prospective students and provide first-hand advice. This is why I volunteered for the Birkbeck Open Evening, an experience I found most rewarding and would recommend to my fellow alumni." 
  • Open Evenings take place several times a year.

Former Student Governor 

  • Birkbeck alumni are eligible to nominate themselves as a Former Student Governor of the College.  Elections are held every two years and the Former Student Governor is elected from among the Birkbeck alumni.  Once elected, the Former Student Governor becomes part of the Governing Body.
  • The Governing Body is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the College.  It consists of 21 Governors – two Ex Officio Governors (the Master and the Vice-Master), two Governors representing Academic Board, two representative Academic Staff, one representing Non-Teaching Staff, two Governors, one Alumnus Governor (the Former Student Governor), and eleven Independent Governors.


If you would like to get involved or would like more information on any of the above,
please contact us. We would also love to hear from you if you have suggestions for future programmes.