Graduate to Student Mentoring Programme

Would you like to find out more about careers that interest you?
Would you like to talk to someone from that profession about your career ideas?
Would you like help with your job applications and interviews?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then consider DCU's Award-winning Graduate to Student Mentoring Programme

Open to second year undergraduate year students from all Faculties

FAQS

The Mentorship Programme assists students in your professional and career development.  It provides an opportunity for you to be mentored by graduates (alumni of DCU) who are able to offer support in helping you develop your career ideas, clarifying goals and improving your employability. 

The Graduate to Student Mentoring Programme helps you to find out more about career areas that interest you. You have the opportunity to meet monthly with a graduate (alumni) about your career ideas and they can also help you with your job applications and interviews techniques. You may also have the opportunity to undertake a work shadow day at your mentor's organisation. 

The mentors are graduates from the DCU Alumni Community and/or employers.

The mentees are current second year DCU students.

  • Helps you to start thinking  about your career ideas. Gives you time to reflect, ‘stand back’ and review where you are now, where you want to get to, and how best to get there.
  • Gain insights into the world of work and key workplace skills. 
  • Explore/Discover your strengths and skills.
  • Receive personalized support, feedback and recognition
  • Boost your confidence with your career direction
  • Gain key employability skills such as communication
  • Expand your social and professional network
  • Assist you to achieve changes and goals
  • Great addition to your CV

Second year undergraduate students who will be entering second year in September 2022. 

About 15 hours  between November and April (excluding the virtual work shadow day).

September 2022

 

12 Sept

Application Form Opens

20 Sept

22 Sept

27 Sept

Information Session about the Mentorship Programme.

Details (time, venue tbc)

30 Sept

Application Form to apply closes

 

October 2022

6th -21st Oct 

Mentoring Matches

Email introducing mentor to mentee. 
*Email is sent via alumni@dcu.ie.

 

November 2022

3 November

 Opening Ceremony

October / November

First Mentoring meeting to have taken place.

 

January 2023

Date TBC

Training Session on Loop for the ePortfolio.

January

Continue to meet with your mentor.

 

February 2023

February

Work Shadow Day (if possible).

February

Continue mentoring meetings.

February

Opening of Mentor and Mentee of the Year Nomination Forms.

 

March 2023

March

Closing of applications for Mentee and Mentor of the Year Awards.

March

Continue mentoring meetings.

March 

Deadline date for students to submit reflect Portfolios.

 

April 2023

April

Complete Feedback Form

April * Closing Ceremony - Date TBC

What is the Application Procedure and closing date

  • When the programme for the 2022/23 academic year opens, you must attend an Information Session or watch the recording or read the FAQs in order to be eligible to apply for the Mentorship Programme. 
  • Complete an online application form. This will open mid-September 2022. 
  • The application form asks three questions to help find the best fit mentor for you. 
    • Please tell us about yourself? (For example, what you are studying, modules you like, work experiences, participation in clubs & societies etc).

    • What career would you like to explore at this point in time?

    • Please state the reasons why you should be considered for the Mentoring Programme?

    • Select your top two career areas of interest

Tips for Application Form

  • Take the time to think about your profile before submitting the form. This is important for matching you with the most suitable Mentor.
  • Think about how you intend to use the experience of mentoring to move your career ideas forward. Mentoring involves reflecting on your experiences, listening to your mentor and then putting the advice into practice.
  • Be specific about the areas you are keen to have a mentor from and try to focus on job areas.
  • Provide as much information as possible to make it clear what you hope to achieve and to enable the matching process.

Before Submitting

  • Does it read well?
  • Have you tailored your answers to the questions?
  • Have you thought about the graduate/employer who will be reading your profile?
  • Check grammar and spelling to ensure you are creating the most positive impression.
  • Also keep a copy of your form so you have this for reference if you are successfully matched on the scheme.

The mentors are a mix of graduates from the DCU Alumni Community and/or employers. They have worked for a number of years and have been identified as role models. The mentor often shares his/her career experiences, advises and informs the mentee.

One to one meetings with your mentor, activites and events. 

Activites to be undertaken by the mentee (student)

  • Regular meetings with your Mentor. The Mentee organises and meets with your Mentor once a month over the period of the Mentoring Programme from November to April (excluding December).  
  • Submit a Reflective portfolio demonstrating reflective learning arising from participating in the Mentoring Programme and how it has developed you, your skills and career ideas.
  • Complete a CV.
  • In addition, mentees may also undertake a work shadow day. This is discussed with your mentor to confirm if they can facilitate it.
  • Meet with your mentor once a month. 
  • Meetings about 1 hour in duration.

 

An email will be sent to you and your mentor as a way of introduction. Then, the mentor will email you to make initial first contact. After this, it is the mentee'e role to arrange the mentoring meetings. 

  • Discussing career areas of interest
  • Researching and exploring particular job roles and sectors
  • Deciding on what to do after university
  • Review a CV/LinkedIn profile.
  • Practice job interviews and networking.
  • Finding out more and develop key skills required for the workplace.
  • Students who are motivated to improving their employability and professional development skills.
  • Students open to ideas and feedback
  • Students committed to participating for the full duration of the scheme
  • Students who are prepared to commit to your future through this programme.
  • A student that is willing to drive the process; organising meetings, articulating what you would like to gain, what areas you are interested in finding experience in and asking questions etc.  Remember the mentor is volunteering their time.

That you are committed to achieving what you set out to do, for example, helping to increase your self-confidence, insights into roles and sectors etc

On completion of the programme and, mentees will receive a Certificate of Completion

"The DCU Structured Mentorship programme was a firm highlight of my time in university. It's a fantastic opportunity to meet a professional in your area of study and learn valuable career insights, enhance employability skills, access a broad network of professionals and improve your CV."

"This programme was definitely a first step insight of a professional career and how it is to work in the public sector. Hearing from my mentor's experiences, the challenges and opportunities along the way, inspired me to work even more towards a future career and be better prepared in the sense of expectations. Also, it is a good chance to start developing those networking skills! I would definitely recommend this programme."

"A really worthwhile programme which allowed me to gather invaluable information on my career area. I would highly recommend this to every student!"

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the DCU Mentorship Programme. I found it extremely beneficial as it helped to build my self-confidence which was especially important before I began the process of securing my third year Intra Placement. Although I was paired with a mentor who was based overseas, we Skyped regularly and still keeping contact over a year later."

"Very good programme and helps with employability as it shows you have taken time out of your schedule to find out more about your career. Very good on the CV and was a talking point in all interviews. Helps you find out if you really want to go down that career path from someone who is in that field."

The DCU Mentorship programme is an award winning programme that matches students with graduates. The mentor will be in a position to access your details through Loop and select someone that they see as a good fit for them.

While it can be challenging when two people are meeting through Loop, you will see why it’s important to put some thought into how you present yourself on Loop. In our experience, this method has been very successful over the years. In some instances, we may need to match some people manually.

Of course, in many cases, your mentor may be working in an area that is of interest to you. However, it should be stressed that some mentors may not be working in your chosen area. This can actually have added advantages and it is vital to remember that your mentor has volunteered to give their time and expertise to help you to navigate your way into your chosen career. Of course, no mentor would volunteer to do so if they were unable to provide you with help in making the transition into your career.

The role of the mentor goes far beyond simply discussing their experience of your sector. Let’s look at that role. They are there to provide you with support, be a role model, share some personal examples to help you while you are in college, help you to consider all your career options, provide some emotional support, be a sounding board for you, help you with your journal, your cv and applying for roles, and to give you some constructive feedback. In order to do this, a knowledge of your sector is not necessary for them.

It is not a condition for the mentor that they would introduce you to people in their network, although some mentors may offer to do this for you. Remember that mentors tend to have wide networks. You don’t know at this point who they know, and they may be able to introduce you to someone in their network who does have direct experience of your sector. Remember that the more you are in a position to grow your own network now, with a little support and encouragement from your mentor, the more you will open up possibilities for yourself.

We have had students in the past who had been disappointed when their mentor had little or no experience of their sector. They expressed high levels of satisfaction with their mentor by the end of the programme, indeed some still maintain contact with their mentor many years after the programme has ended.

Some of the factors that will help you to make the transition into your career as you graduate are flexibility, adaptability and openness to experience. Research into mentoring tells us that your curiosity, inquisitiveness, and enthusiasm will encourage your mentor to work with you. If you become less engaged, it can discourage the mentor, remember, the mentor has volunteered to help, but you must do the work!  Do check out Carol Dweck’s research into Growth Mindsets.

An effective mentoring relationship is one that should challenge you – you will be asked to work outside of your comfort zone. This is where the real growth happens!

These are two separate programmes.

The Graduate to Student Mentoring Programme involves graduates (alumni) of DCU mentoring second year students to help you explore your career options and offering insights on the world of work. It provides an opportunity to be mentored by a graduate (alumni) who are able to offer support in helping you to develop you career ideas, clarifying goals and improving your employability.   In this case the graduate is the Mentor and the student is the Mentee.

The Elevate Peer Mentoring Programme involves students from further years (e.g., 2nd year onwards) mentoring first years in their courses.  It brings students from further years together with first years in their courses to be a support for them. Peer Mentors will be a form of social support and a friendly face for their mentees entering University life. They will play a key role in introducing first years to one another and settling into DCU. In this case students from further years are the Mentors and students from first year are the Mentees.

The Graduate to Student Mentoring Programme involves graduates (alumni) of DCU mentoring second year students to help you explore your career options and offering insights on the world of work. It provides an opportunity to be mentored by a graduate (alumni) who are able to offer support in helping you to develop you career ideas, clarifying goals and improving your employability.   In this case the graduate is the Mentor and the student is the Mentee.

The Silver Engage Award aimed at second year, third year and postgraduate students (not final years), encourages the development of practical career-planning skills, in addition to the 21st century skills valued by employers, such as communication, critical thinking and leadership. It consists of 3 core elements – the Career Interest Inventory Assessment, the Career and Workplace Skills Series and a short assignment which will aid you in reflecting on your experience and setting goals.  Students who complete these 3 core elements will each receive the Silver Engage award, as recognition of their efforts in developing these key career areas.

Yes you can. It would be important to ensure you have adequate time to complete all three initiatives.