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Introduction

'Through its mission, the College is committed to developing an inclusive working and learning environment for its staff to enable them to achieve their full potential, mentoring is one of the key approaches for supporting achievement of this aim. Birkbeck believes that mentoring enables both the mentor and mentee to gain personal development through the sharing of different experiences, which will in turn enhance cross College working'.

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring is often defined as a professional partnership in which an experienced person (the mentor) assists another (the mentee) in developing specific skills and knowledge that will enhance the less-experienced person's professional, personal and career growth. The partnership will usually fall outside the line management structure of the mentee. Mentoring should be viewed as a relationship rather than a management activity. It should be safe, non-judgemental relationship that facilitates a wide range of learning, experimentation and development.

What mentors say

'I had 6 sessions throughout the year with my mentee and I think the whole process went very well, with the mentee really developing on both a personal and a professional level and myself as a mentor really learning a lot from our conversations.

Being able to build up confidence in a capable colleague and help her identify potential strategies to overcome work issues, rethink one's career path or just share disappointments and successes can be a rewarding experience for both parties.

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Ultimately my mentee achieved her main professional goal, which made the whole experience truly worthwhile'.

What mentees say

'Yes, I have now completed the scheme. I really enjoyed it and found it very useful. (My mentor) is a brilliant mentor and we even had a few meetings after the scheme finished. We met every two months to discuss my progress on the objectives we set in our first meeting. They always had time for me and never cancelled any of our meetings. They were very supportive and always listened to me. They gave me some advice and recommendations but never forced me to do anything against my will. I'm really glad I took part in the scheme as it helped me to achieve my main objective (which was to become a Team Leader) with the help of an amazing mentor who guided me through the processes'.

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