Mentoring Pathways

Mentoring Pathways is a collaborative programme between Birkbeck, University of London, and corporate partners from the worlds of business, law and beyond.

A combination of Birkbeck alumni mentors alongside corporate volunteers has enabled us to develop a talented, energetic and well-networked mentoring team that supports current students to realise their career aspirations, build their confidence and give them exposure to professional environments.

What is mentoring?

  • Mentoring is a professional relationship between the student (the mentee) and the mentor whereby the mentee benefits from the experience, skills and networks of the mentor. It operates for a specific period of time and has clear objectives.
  • Your role as a mentor is to develop essential skills by asking the mentee to reflect on their experiences and abilities, using your experiences to give contextual examples and facilitate progress towards goals.
  • The Mentoring Pathways programme is focused on personal development and career development.

Why should I become a mentor?

  • Becoming a mentor can be a truly rewarding experience. You can gain the following benefits from participating in the programme:
    • take part in a training session to develop your mentoring skills (one evening session of three hours) that can complement your CPD and enhance your CV
    • broaden your networks with the student and wider Birkbeck community
    • share your knowledge and experience to support students to achieve their goals
    • develop soft skills such as listening, communication, influencing and negotiation skills
    • have the opportunity to meet and share your experiences with other alumni and corporate mentors
    • gain a sense of achievement and for alumni mentors, giving something back to Birkbeck.

What do we expect from a mentor?

  • As a mentor you should:
    • display role model behaviour in terms of good communication skills, punctuality and commitment
    • encourage your mentee to reflect regularly on their objectives and development areas
    • offer support and encouragement but let your mentee take responsibility for action
    • challenge your mentee to consider different perspectives and solutions
    • maintain confidentiality at all times
    • be prepared to share good practice and expertise within the workplace
    • show a willingness to expose your mentee to your professional networks
    • commit to meeting once a month and keep in touch by phone and email between times
    • keep in touch with Birkbeck if there are any issues and contribute to the evaluation practices of the programme.

How are mentees matched to a mentor?

  • Mentees are matched with a mentor who can best facilitate the objectives of the mentee and, if possible, is employed in a sector or discipline to which the mentee aspires. However, we have a finite number of mentors, so matching sectors and job roles is not always possible.

How often do the meetings take place?

  • Usually, you will meet your mentor once a month and each meeting should last for sixty to ninety minutes. You should agree the most convenient form of communication between meetings, so that you maximise the benefit of face-to-face meetings and the mentee can come to each meeting having made progress on previous, agreed objectives.

How long does the mentoring last?

  • Mentoring Pathways runs during the academic year, starting in November and ending in June. We encourage mentors and mentees to meet once a month face-to-face, either at the mentor’s place of work or at a mutually convenient location.

How do I apply?

  • The application process for the 2017-18 academic year will open in the autumn. If you would like to take part, please email mentoring@bbk.ac.uk to register your interest.

Who runs the programme?