DCU was announced as the overall winner in a very competitive Coaching & Mentoring Category at the Irish Institute of Training & Development (IITD) National Training Awards on Friday April 20th. The IITD National Training Awards promotes excellence, best practice and innovation in training, learning and development.
Founded in 2003, the Mentoring Programme pairs DCU students with alumni of DCU. It is a joint initiative delivered by the Careers Service within Student Support & Development and the Alumni Office. Since 2013, over 600 students have been mentored by hundreds of DCU Alumni. The Programme runs for six-months between October and March and pairs second-year students with graduate mentors for the purposes of personal and professional development. It is an opportunity for students to gain insights into the world of work, develop key workplace skills, and explore career areas of interest.
A feature of this year’s programme was the integration of DCU’s online portfolio called Reflect. Students were invited to record and reflect on their learning experiences from the Mentoring Programme. In addition they uploaded their career action plan and CV for future applications. The Mentoring Programme greatly assists the University in meeting its strategic goals of providing a transformative student experience by pursuing active engagement with our Alumni and Employer communities.
Yvonne McLoughlin, Head of the Careers Service said:
“At the heart of this programme is a collaboration between the mentors and the students that includes monthly one-to-one meetings, skills sessions and a work shadow day in the mentor’s organisation. It has an enormous impact on students’ employability skills and self-confidence when applying for future work placements including the DCU INTRA internship programme. Due to the success of the Mentoring Programme, we were delighted that a number of our employers also participated as mentors this year.”
Ross Munnelly, Director of Alumni Relations said:
“The Mentoring Programme is a fantastic opportunity for our current students to avail of the professional experience and personal experience of DCU alumni whose contribution to the programme has been invaluable. The success of the Mentorship Programme is underpinned by our graduates commitment and loyalty to the university and their desire to enhance the DCU Student Experience. The Mentorship Programme has a significant impact on the students giving them a crucial insight into the world of work at a formative stage in their studies. This year in particular we have many Mentors, who themselves were Mentees on the programme a number of years ago, demonstrating the lasting impression Mentorship has on both student and graduate communities.”