Who will I mentor?

This programme aims to match alumni mentors with second and third year, and postgraduate, students from the following schools:

  • The School of Anthropology & Conservation
  • The School of Economics
  • The School of Psychology
  • The School of Politics and International Relations

We endeavour to match mentors with a suitable mentee either by degree course or desired career profession.

Occasionally, applicants ask for a mentor who may be able to offer specific support/information relating to characteristics such as BAME, LGBTQ+, religion, gender, disability/health issues, being a mature applicant, being a parent, socio-economic background etc. If you feel that you have specific knowledge/experience/expertise that you can share with a mentee requesting such help, please do highlight this on your application form.

We aim to match as many mentors with suitable students as possible, although it is not always possible due to differences in expressed preferences. If it is not possible to match you with a compatible student, you will have the option of providing general career support to another student who has applied to the scheme.

When will I be matched with a student (mentee)?

Eligible students will be able to apply to the programme between 1st May and 3rd June 2022.

Mentors and students will be notified of a match by early September.

Please note we may not be in a position to match you with a suitable student, as the numbers and profiles of students who apply to the programme fluctuates each year.

How often will I meet with my mentee?

Mentors and mentees are expected to meet at least four times during the four month programme for 30 minutes to an hour each time. If it is mutually preferable to do so, meetings can take place over video conference or phone but in person meetings are also permitted.

What support could I provide?

There are not any specific expectations of the level of support you can provide, this will be individual, to each mentor. However, students do like to hear about the personal experiences of those whom have already travelled a similar path, and as such, you may be able to offer advice about the following:

  • Informal career & future planning
  • CV and / or LinkedIn review
  • Application and interview tips
  • An insight into your profession and sector
  • A reference point to pass the student on to other sources of advice.

The mentoring relationship should be two-way, with the student encouraged to take responsibility for stating their goals and aspirations.

Although it is not a requirement of the programme for mentors to offer any work based opportunities to students (e.g. work experience, shadowing, informal networking etc.) please feel free to do so in discussions with your student if this is a possibility.

How will I contact my mentee?

Once you have been matched with a student, we will provide you with the student’s University email address and supporting application information.

Your mentee will be instructed to make the first contact with you and they should introduce themselves and outline the type of support they seek. However, please do be aware that despite these instructions many students may feel daunted/intimidated at the prospect of emailing a professional whom they have never met. As such, please do feel free to make the first contact if you prefer to do so, and especially if you have not heard from them within one week.

What support will I be given?

All new mentors will be invited to attend an online mentoring training session with the University prior to the programme commencing. The date and time of this session will be organised in consultation with the mentor group. You will also be given a Mentor handbook which offers advice on how to structure your mentoring sessions and possible topics for discussion.

Can I have more than one mentee?

Yes. On the application form, you will be asked whether you wish to mentor more than one student. However, we recommend that mentors have no more than two mentees in order dedicate a sufficient amount of time to each mentee.

How long does the mentoring relationship last?

The mentoring programme runs for four months, at the end of which you will be contacted to confirm arrangements for the end of the scheme. If you wish to remain in contact with your mentee after this, you are of course free to do so, but as individuals rather than members of the scheme.

What to do if either you or your mentee cannot continue due to a change in circumstances?

Please contact a member of the mentoring team as soon as possible: hssalumni@kent.ac.uk

My mentee does not make contact / I cannot get hold of them

The mentee may be away, have a deadline approaching or a problem may have arisen. Try sending a follow-up to check they received your original message. If you are still not able to establish contact, please inform a member of the mentoring team: hssalumni@kent.ac.uk

How can I contact the mentoring team?

Please email HSSalumni@kent.ac.uk in the first instance, and we can arrange a call with you if you wish.