As a 2nd year Geography student I’m having to give serious thought to my future after my degree. As my subject doesn’t lend itself to a specific career path, I took an interest in the university’s mentoring scheme as a way of having personal guidance on my future. For me, the scheme was an opportunity to gain a professional prospective and advice in regards to my career.
I was allocated a mentor that was involved in the same sector I was interested in and we were given each others email addresses. This allowed initial introductions to be done electronically, getting to know academic history and what we both wanted out of the scheme, in an unpressurised environment.
What I liked about the scheme was the idea of equality, it requires effort from both parties to achieve maximum results, so it made me put aside time to actively think about my future. After a couple of emails we set up face to face meetings, usually based on campus or Selly Oak high street. Here we could be more informal, discussing my short/medium/long term goals in the time frame from next academic term to end of university to five years’ time as well as discussing his career path and difficulties he has confronted. He gave me guidance on my CV, identifying areas or skills that may been to be focused on, in addition he gave an insight to what employers seek in new recruits and how you can alter your CV to reflect specific skills with the relative evidence, found not just in work but degree modules or leisure activities. We also covered interview technique and further academic qualifications.
I personally found having the support of designated professional who I had regular contact with very helpful. The scheme forced me to actively think about what I wanted after my degree and how I could prepare for it. It was incredible useful to have a direct point of contact that I could discuss potential work prospects and receive valuable advice and guidance. The continuous involvement meant that he could follow my progress and help me develop.
Rosamund Thomas, 2nd year, Geography student