Initiated by the Careers Advisory Service (CAS), the Career Mentoring scheme is a programme that allows students to realise their potential with the guidance and support from experienced employers and alumni.
In this programme, passionate alumni are mentors and paired with students— their mentees - to coach them on their journey from university life to career life. The mentors offer bespoke advice about job applications, graduate recruitment processes and provide a glimpse into the realities of their profession to the mentees. With direct and regular contact with the mentors through multiple online channels, the mentees were able to obtain relevant hints and tips for their situation and receive support in planning their future career path.
This programme offers the following benefits to alumni mentors:
- Useful insight into the graduate workforce of the future, what they have to offer and what challenges they face.
- Identifying areas of development in order to improve your own corporate training programmes.
- A means to assess talent in a competitive hiring environment.
- An opportunity to enhance your own corporate social responsibility profile.
- An increase in your own job satisfaction by sharing your success with current students.
Let’s hear what some beloved alumni mentors had to say on their experience being a mentor!
- Akila Raghavan, Journalist at Science Magazine | Co-Editor in Chief at I, Science
- Ashvin Nesan, Senior Development Engineer at Repsol
- Chen Jun Luo, Operational Specialist at Amazon
- Emmanuel Charles, Mechanical Integrity Engineer at ExxonMobil
- Joseph Heng Si Zhuo, Assistant Manager - BIM Virtual Design Construction at Sunway Construction Group Berhad
- Mathialagan Magendran, Board of Director at UN Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei
- Nathan Ramadhan, MBA Candidate & Student Consultant at Cambridge Judge Business School
- Yen Wei Low, Senior Project Executive (Commercial Real Estate) at Gamuda Land
Q&A with alumni mentors!
What made you become an alumni mentor?
Emmanuel: I felt that I wanted to find avenues to give back to UNM and do pro-bono activities outside my full-time job. The mentorship offered both these opportunities in one programme.
Mathialagan: I wanted to share my corporate knowledge in the area of sustainability to students so that they will have more opportunities to explore in their working life.
What was your experience like being in this programme as an alumni mentor?
Akila: It’s been great! I have been involved in this programme for a year now and have had a few mentees so far. The students always impress me with their drive, ambition and eagerness to learn. I will definitely continue being a mentor with this programme.
Mathialagan: I had a great experience in mentoring the mentees because I was able to advocate critical thinking while connecting it with working life experiences. The mentees also managed to exchange constructive dialogues in order to embrace productive conclusions.
How do you think this programme benefits current students?
Nathan: I think it equips them with the soft skills required to differentiate themselves from others in an increasingly competitive world. There is no doubt that the university equips these students with critical thinking and hard skills throughout the course but having mentors with real-world experience who had to learn the said skills ‘the hard way’ provides a fast-track for the students when they enter the workforce.
Wei Low: It provides a platform/opportunity for them to understand the perspectives and realities in the working adult and the gap between the knowledge/skills required from University to working life.
How do you think this programme benefits you, as an alumnus?
Ashvin: By engaging with the next generation of the workforce, it definitely forces me to update myself on the latest across all fields (technical, social media, careers) and also rethink ways of speaking and working with them.
Joseph: Remaining in touch with future talent pool and bridging/understanding generational gaps, connecting and broadening networks in the industry and communicating and relating with younger generations helps us to be better future managers and leaders/planners.
Why do you think other alumni should also participate in this programme?
Joseph: Our careers are a process of continuous learning, not just in the technical aspects and know-how but also the soft skills and communication. By relating with the younger generation, we also become further aware of our own projections and way/style of communication.
Chen Jun: I would definitely make a point that mentoring is the most seamless virtual volunteering one can contribute to, particularly during this new normal that we are all living in. Also, I will proudly present my alumni achievements or recognition I have received as a result of becoming an active alumni mentor in order to build one's competitive spirit in a positive and healthy manner.
Nathan: The feeling of satisfaction in seeing your mentee become better and succeed is a reward in itself and is a good break from the hustle-and-bustle of the daily grind. Also, for people who have never managed a team, this will be a good ‘training ground’ for you when you actually do begin to manage people. Furthermore, helping these students succeed in the workplace would consequently boost the University of Nottingham reputation, which in a way also enhances the brand value of the degree held by alums. Given the above reasons, I highly encourage alumni to participate in this mentorship scheme.
One of the mentees had expressed her gratitude at the opportunity having a wonderful alumni mentor through this mentoring programme:
“From this career mentoring programme, I have gained some insights about the current working world and the process of job application. Truthfully it has helped me gain assurance from hearing from a fellow senior of the same degree of study as me to have found a place that is different from her degree in the working force. This has inspired me to try out different functions and areas while taking the time to understand what it is I truly enjoy or would like to keep working on for the next good couple of years.” – Chan Hui Ying.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Career Advisory Service at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Career Mentoring, please visit CAS blog— here.
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Posted on 11th November 2021