By now you will probably have heard of Manchester Gold, our mentoring programme, which is popular with both our home and international students. You may also know that we have just started advertising our next round of the programme for Spring 2013, but did you know that we have around 100 mentors based outside the UK in over 40 countries, on the programme. Many of these are our own international graduates who studied here as international students and have a wealth of experience to share with you.
What is mentoring and do international students get involved?
Absolutely, our mentoring scheme is popular with international students. Mentors provide a one-to-one source of feedback, support, insight and ideas for your career progression. International mentors based in your home country could provide a realistic insight into ways to enter the job market after graduation, what employers look for and how jobs are usually gained. You mentor is likely to still be in contact with many fellow alumni returning from the UK so their network and shared experiences can be invaluable. Similarly, if you international mentor has stayed on in the UK, what enabled them to make this step, any advice to share? For more information on how to work effectively with your mentor, there is another useful blogpost with more tips at :https://manunicareersblog.com/2013/01/22/mentors-for-postgrads/
Who is mentoring this Spring?
The list of mentors by career area and degree discipline is on the mentoring web pages, but it is also possible to see the mentors listed by country location too. So if you are looking for a mentor in a particular country, this is the resource to check. It is so exciting that, on this Spring programme alone there are over 100 international mentors.
What’s putting you off? / Concerns from international students – answered here?
In the past, we have had a handful of incidents where our mentors have not been fully used by you, our mentees, and when we have investigated, some students have had a couple of conerns as follows:
– “My mentor was too senior” – they were afraid to use them effectively. They were worried that they would ask silly questions, or not make the right impression. Just to reassure all readers that our mentors are doing this to help you, their fellow university students. Your questions will not be silly, if they are a concern for you. As long as you are polite in the way that you approach them. The most disappointing outcome for the mentors is when they are not utilised and their mentee does not take up the valuable offer of their time and enthusiasm – that is what makes a poor impression. They just want a professional approach. This is not a test.
– “My mentor was in the wrong career area” – again, it is about using your mentor effectively. Advice can apply across many sectors, you just have to be flexible, listen and apply the knowledge. Similarly, they may not be in your dream job, but their best friend may be! The right approach can make it work.
– “My mentor is too far away” – nope! With the option for email, skype and more, your mentor is only a click away. Many of our mentees have even kept in contact, meeting up when they are home/overseas in the future too. It’s all possible.
Lots more tips and resources on the mentoring pages, including a mentoring guide in Mandarin for our Chinese students who may find it useful.
What if I do not find a mentor?
The good news is that we also have around 200 more international alumni contacts available to answer your questions on our Mentoring Q&A resource. You can access this through Careerslink and using the “Advanced Search” button can search mentors by country.
Apply by 8th February, 2013. www.manchester.ac.uk/careers/mentoring
Amanda Conway is the Head of International Career Development at The University of Manchester. Amanda has been a career consultant at the University for over 15 years and also has a background in retail management and HR, psychometric testing and personality profiling.