As part of the School of the Arts work placement module, students are offered the chance to network with a mentor from within their desired career field.
In an interview with School of the Arts student, Claudia Wentworth, University of Liverpool careers advisor, Justin Richardson, discusses the benefits of the mentoring programme for undergraduate students:
Why did the School of the Arts decide to introduce a mentoring scheme to the placement module?
“We introduced the mentoring scheme because through linking students with industry mentors we really felt they would benefit from advice and help around their placement and their future career ideas.
“The scheme was developed from the University-wide Alumni Mentoring Scheme, which is aimed at working with students to promote the Widening Participation agenda. We saw the benefits which students were gaining from this and thought it would be really useful to apply to this programme.”
What are the benefits for students in having a mentor?
“Mentoring enables mentees to communicate with a representative of a profession or career sector in which they are genuinely interested. While some students are fortunate enough to already know someone who has entered that career, many students do not belong to an extended professional network that they can tap into through their family and friends.
“Mentors can provide a range of useful advice and support around making the most of their placement, help with understanding more about the industry and the job roles they want to go into, and help around recruitment and applying for jobs.”
Does the mentoring scheme work alongside the placement or does it help develop a different skillset altogether?
“I think the mentoring does work well alongside the placement because the mentor can help students recognise ways in which to make the most of their placement and help them recognise the skills they are developing and potential opportunities.
“The mentors can often act as a sounding-board for any difficulties students have during their placement and any concerns that they have.
“The scheme can also help further develop other relevant employability skills, such as commercial awareness in the field you want to go into and also help improve your networking skills.”
How useful is the mentoring scheme in gaining access to other industry contacts and resources?
“Many students want to get into the more creative sectors where it is often difficult to find relevant opportunities and contacts. This is where mentors can help. The music industry is one such example where students have found having a mentor really useful in helping them develop networks vital for a career in this area.”
How do you ensure that students are matched to somebody in the relevant career of interest?
“Students are asked to complete a form to apply for the scheme which states the reasons for wanting to take part and the types of career roles and areas they are interested in. We then try to match them as best we can with a mentor that suits their interests, although it is not always possible to get a perfect match. However, over the time we’ve run the scheme feedback has always been really positive about the mentoring students have received.”
If you are interested in the more information about the mentoring scheme please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on School of the Arts modules, please visit our website: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/arts/