Mentorship

Mentoring Programme for Second Year Students

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 Mentorship Programme

Open to second year students from the DCU Business School
Open to second year students from the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences
Open to second year students from the Faculty of Engineering and Computing
Open to second year students from the Faculty of Science and Health
Open to second year students from the Institute of Education
Open to second year students on DCU Sport Scholarship athletes

The Mentorship Programme assists students in your professional and career development. It involves a mentor mentoring a mentee. In this case, the mentors are DCU graduates and/or employers. The mentees are current second year DCU students. The mentor shares their expertise and experience to assist the mentee (student) to motivate, empower and help you with your career ideas and professional development. It provides an opportunity to meet and network graduates and employers who are able to offer support in helping you to develop you career ideas, clarifying goals and improving your employability.  

  • 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 undergradaute students who will be entering second year in October 2020. 

The mentors are a mix of DCU graduates 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. Organising and virtually meeting with your Mentor at least three times over the period of the Mentoring Programme.  
  • Participating in three career and workplace skills sessions organised by the Careers Service.
  • 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.
  • In addition, mentees must also complete two from the following list:
    • Virtual Work Shadow Day
    • CV
    • Interview Skills
    • Career Readiness Survey (Careers will send this to you)
    • Career Growth Plan (Careers will send this to you). 
  • Meet with your mentor at least three times between Nov and April
  • Meetings about 1 hour in duration
  • Can meet more than three times, arrange between you and your mentor. 

About 20 hours over 6 months between October and April (excluding the virtual work shadow day)

October

Thurs 1st Oct: Email to second year students about the Mentorship Programme
Wed 7th Oct 12 - 12.45pm: Online Information Session on Mentorship for Students
Thurs 8th Oct 1-1.45pm: Online Information Session on Mentorship for Students
Tues 13th Oct 12-12.45pm: Online Information Session on Mentorship for Students
Tues 13th Oct 1-1.45pm: Online Information Session on Mentorship for Students
Mon 19th Oct 1pm-1.45pm: Online Information Session on Mentorship for Students

Application Form opens on Wed 7th Oct - Students must attend an information session in order to be eligible to apply.

Wed 21st Oct: Closing date for Applications Important: Students must attend an information session in order to be eligible to apply.

Mon 26th Oct - Fri 6th Nov: Matching of mentees and Mentors and Introductory emails by mentors

November
Opening Ceremony (Date TBC)
Mentoring Month 1

December: Mentoring Month 2

January: Mentoring Month 3

February: Mentoring Month 4  
                 Virtual Work Shadow Day

March: Mentoring Month 5
26th March: Submission of Reflect Portfolios

April: Date TBC: Closing Ceremony of the Mentorship Programme & Awarding of Certificates

  • 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

Yes, it can contribute to the Silver Engage Award.
The Careers & Workplace Skills Sessions can count towards the number of sessions you have to attend for the Silver Engage Award. 
The Career Mentorship Programme can also count towards your development of Gradaute Attributes. 

What is the Application Procedure and closing date

You must attend an Information Session in order to be eligible to apply for the Mentorship Programme
After the session, you will be emailed a link to the Application Form. 
The closing date is Wednesday 21st October at 5pm.
 

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 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!