Written by Johnny Dixon, Employability Assistant at The Careers Service .
Applications for Spring 2019 are NOW open! Register your place on the programme before Monday, 18 February.
As a recent graduate from The University of Manchester, I know how hard it can be to find a job after studying. Not knowing any proper adults with jobs and being told “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. The prospect of getting an insight into the field I’m interested in seemed impossible. When I was introduced to the Manchester Gold programme, I realised that there was a way to get advice and form a professional relationship with someone doing my dream job.
Manchester Gold Mentoring gives you the opportunity to connect with a mentor for continued careers advice. These mentors can help you with a variety of careers skills, from learning how to make it in their field, to industry specific CV and application advice. The programme is widely renowned amongst students and alumni, but here’s 10 things you might not know about it:
1.Your future in your hands – In the dark days before widely accessible computers (yes, the programme’s been running for that long!) we would match all of our successful applicants to their mentor by hand. However, Manchester Gold is unique in that we now grant our students the ability to select their own mentor as to find the best partner for them and to give you control over your mentoring.
2. Mentoring is for everyone, even those without a career plan – Although mentoring works best for those with a career in mind, you don’t need to know what you want to do to apply and get a lot out of the programme. You can find a mentor that studied on your course or shares your interests; they can show you how to get from your position to a successful career.
3. Already know what you want? Gold is perfect for you! From accountancy to zoology, Manchester Gold lets you find a mentor in your preferred industry that can give specialised advice to help get ahead in your industry. If things go well, you will have a relevant contact for years to come.
4. All of our mentors are volunteering their time! Most of our Manchester Gold Mentors are former students of The University of Manchester. These are people that want to give something back to the University’s students. (So remember to keep things professional and be grateful for their time!)
5. Only 2 hours a month! – Although the programme runs for 6 months, which seems like a huge time commitment, we only expect you to dedicate around 2 hours a month to your mentoring. This could consist of writing emails to your mentor, working on your CV or working on tasks set by your mentor. Of course, you could put more time than that in: you can really get a lot out of this programme if you’re willing to put in the time.
6. Filter your search to find someone from your background. Filter for mentors particularly willing to support LGBT+, BAME and disabled students. If you’re the first generation of your family to go to university or are a doctoral researcher, there are also mentors particularly willing to support you.
7. Face-to-face, phone, skype email… – The partnership nature of the programme means that you can tailor it to suit the needs of you and your mentor. This means that you can meet face-to-face if you both would like to, but that you can also stay in touch through whichever professional medium suits you both best.
8. We’ll walk you through the programme – It might all seem confusing and scary, but don’t worry! Once you are accepted onto the program, you’ll be invited to attend one of our compulsory information sessions where we take you through how the programme will operate and also introduce ourselves to you.
9. Unlimited networking – Although we advise that our mentoring partnerships take place for 6 months, Manchester Gold is housed on The Manchester Network. You can use the Network for the rest of your life! All students, staff and alumni are welcome to use the Network and can connect to alumni for quick careers based advice – you can become a mentor one day too!
10. We have a dedicated team ready and willing to help you make your mentoring a success! Just email firstname.lastname@example.org at any time of your mentoring journey and we’ll be more than happy to help.