Career mentoring

Inspire the next generation. Be the difference.

Mentoring is known to be one of the most effective methods of promoting student success within Higher Education. Becoming a career mentor is your opportunity to be part of that success.

By volunteering your time as an Essex Mentor you can:

  • provide a fresh perspective to students starting out on their career journey
  • share your insight, knowledge, and passion for what you do
  • offer protected time and an objective ear to help your mentee explore their goals, aspirations, strengths and options
  • challenge your mentee to realise their full potential
  • give them the confidence to make decisions that are right for them

Want to find out more? Register your interest and we will be in touch.

Be the mentor you wish you’d had

We welcome mentors from all industries and backgrounds to reflect the rich diversity of our student community. For alumni it is a great way to stay connected to the University, but you don’t have to have graduated from Essex to get involved. Wherever you started out, if you have a minimum of one year in industry and a desire to help others, we want to hear from you.

As a career mentor, you would be matched with a current student based on their individual needs and aspirations for a minimum of just 6 hours over a 6 month period. Mentoring can take place virtually or in person (when safe to do so).  The how, what and when is up to you and your mentee to decide.

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others."
Nelson Mandela

About our mentees

Our mentees are undergraduate and postgraduate students from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds. They will have submitted a successful application outlining why they feel they would benefit from having a mentor. Some of the most frequent reasons include:

  • learning about a specific job or sector
  • developing a professional network
  • uncertainty around what they want to do after graduation
  • interest in becoming self-employed or setting up a business

Our mentoring programme aims to offer students as much choice as possible. To ensure the most productive match, successful applicants are able to view all mentor profiles and shortlist their preferred mentors.

Your role as a mentor

Our mentoring programme is designed to give students control of their own development. They set the agenda. Your role as mentor is to be impartial and open minded, using active listening and communication skills to allow your mentee time and space to consider things for themselves whilst offering feedback, advice and guidance where needed. 

Have you got what it takes?

  • Time to invest (at least 6 hours contact over a 6 month period)
  • A commitment to helping others
  • The ability to challenge and get the best out of people
  • A minimum of one year’s experience in work

As mentoring relationships are unique to each pair and situation, how you agree to structure your mentoring may vary. Mentoring works best when there is an element of face-to-face contact but you can mentor by phone, Skype, email, or in person. If you’re based overseas you can still join us as a mentor. 

The Mentoring Coordinator will be there to support you both throughout your mentoring relationship and request feedback at key stages. We recommend that you mentor a maximum of two mentees at any one time.

"The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves."
Steven Spielberg

Feel the benefit

Mentoring isn’t just about providing a transformative experience for our students. A truly valuable partnership is a two way street. As a mentor you will have a unique opportunity to:

  • Share your experience, values and ethics
  • Develop essential leadership and coaching skills
  • Network with other mentors
  • Reflect on your own practice and gain fresh new perspectives
  • Uncover new talent, ideas and technologies
  • Develop a connection with someone new
  • Make a positive impact on someone else’s future

Interested in becoming an Essex Mentor?

The Mentoring Coordinator will contact you to discuss the programme and your experience in more detail.  If you become a mentor we will require a profile which we share with successful applicants to support the shortlisting process.

You will only be introduced to your mentee when you have agreed to the match, and training and resources are available to help you get the best out of your relationship.  

Get in touch
Rebecca Payne Project Officer (Student Opportunities), Careers Services, 
University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 872695