Become a mentor and make a difference

Two people having a meeting round a table with books and a closed laptop on it

We’re looking for professionals to join Mentoring at ARU.

Mentoring at ARU is our popular mentoring programme, which introduces current ARU students to experienced professionals who volunteer their time to become a mentor.

Volunteering as a mentor allows you to make a real difference to our students’ lives, supporting them to gain the confidence they need to start preparing for their future careers.

Mentoring is an opportunity to share your knowledge and experience, whilst getting to know the workforce of the future.

What are the main aims of the programme?

The aims of the programme include helping students boost their employability skills and confidence, making them better prepared to enter the workplace. The programme is open to all ARU students based on our core campuses, but is particularly targeted at these demographics:

  • Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students
  • care leavers
  • students who have come to us from geographical areas that tend to send fewer than average students to university.

This is because we’re committed to our widening participation work. We want to address areas where national data suggests we can make a real difference to equality of outcomes no matter a person’s background. By joining Mentoring at ARU you can support us in this endeavour.

There are benefits for you too!

Mentoring is often used as a developmental opportunity for early to mid-career professionals, as research shows that people taking on the role of mentor consistently report experiencing a number of positives such as:

  • increased self-reflection – asking questions of a mentee supports deeper insight into your own learning path and achievements
  • expanded connections and networks – you never know where your student mentee may end up in the future, they could be a great contact
  • improved communication, empathy, listening and personal skills, leadership, and management qualities
  • increased confidence and motivation
  • an opportunity to boost your own people development and volunteering experience, which looks great on your own professional profile.

And that is not to mention the sense of fulfilment you will experience by helping an individual grow to be the best that they can be, fittingly in line with our university’s motto: Excellence through partnership.

FAQs

How does the programme work?

Mentoring at ARU matches current students with mentors on a 1-2-1 basis.

Volunteer mentors and student mentees apply to join the programme via an online application form. Student applicants work with us to select a mentor match from our pool of talented volunteers.

All profiles are anonymised, and matches are based on student needs, interests and aspirations, and mentor skills and experience.

Once matched, student mentees and volunteer mentors will complete a separate online orientation process before meeting each other. This prepares both parties for their mentoring journey.

Student mentees and volunteer mentors are then introduced to each other via e-mail and arrange to complete a minimum of five mentoring meetings together. Meetings can take place online, in person or a combination.

An optional meeting framework with talking points is provided to volunteer mentors and student mentees to help guide you both through the process; both parties also have access to ARU support throughout.

Once five meetings have been completed, all participants will be asked to provide feedback, and student mentees are required to complete reflective activities to earn a completion certificate.

Although five meetings are the minimum required for students to complete the programme, it is hoped that following these five meetings, rapport will have been built between our pairs, helping them to form a longer-term professional relationship with benefits and enjoyment for both parties (however, further contact beyond the programme is entirely optional and not obligated for students or mentors).

What commitment is required from me as a mentor?

Volunteer mentors are required to complete an online application form to register for the programme. If selected for a match with a student mentee, we will contact you to request that you complete our online orientation process before introduction to your mentee. This usually takes around 45 minutes to complete.

Mentors are then introduced to their student mentee via email, together you will need to arrange and attend a minimum of five mentoring meetings. Meetings usually last for one hour, and take place around every two weeks. You can meet at a regular time or arrange meetings flexibly as you move through the programme.

We will encourage you to meet in person where possible, but meetings can also be held via video calling platforms. The mentor and mentee will agree between themselves which is most convenient.

After five meetings, we will request your feedback via online survey.

Mentoring at ARU runs on a rolling basis with a steady flow of student applications, so how much time you have to complete the programme together depends on how close you are to the project deadline when your match starts (we will communicate this to you when a mentee match is identified).

Additional time may be included for email correspondence and additional calls, messages, or meetings at your discretion. You may also be invited to optional ARU events associated with mentoring, such as networking events. We will provide you with more information as and when we arrange any such events.

What does a mentor do?

This video by Dr Kay Guccione will tell you more.

Am I eligible to become a mentor?

We welcome mentor applications from professionals working at any level within all industries and roles, from entry level to the most senior level positions. We do ask that our mentors have at least 2+ years of work experience from any sector.

Our volunteer mentors must be able to reliably commit to meeting their student mentee on a regular basis. To meet our five-meeting minimum, mentors will conduct a one-hour meeting with their mentee around every two weeks, online or in-person.

Ideally, mentors will be based in the UK to allow students the opportunity to meet their mentor face-to-face, however, we do also accept applications from mentors overseas.

Can I get my organisation involved?

Absolutely. You can apply to Mentoring at ARU as an individual, but we are also very happy to discuss how we can involve your organisation with mentoring on a larger scale. Please contact us to discuss this using the contact details at the bottom of this webpage.

What support will be available to me during the programme?

Anglia Ruskin University’s Employability & Careers Team will be on hand via phone and email throughout the programme, to make sure things go smoothly, and to answer any questions that may arise.

You will also be provided with orientation activities and resources before you meet your student mentee, to help you better understand the programme and develop your mentoring skills, as well as a meeting framework guide.

How many students will I be expected to mentor?

We will match mentors with student mentees on a 1-2-1 basis. Mentors can volunteer to take on more than one student mentee upon discussion with our Employability & Careers Team. This is decided on an individual basis.

Am I guaranteed to be matched with a student mentee?

It is important to note that whilst we do our best to match as many volunteer mentors with student mentees as possible, applying to the Mentoring at ARU programme does not automatically mean you will be matched with a student mentee.

Successful matches are dependent on the numbers of participants, as well as the suitability of matches. Until the students have signed up to the current cycle of the project, we will not know the numbers of students joining the programme, or which disciplines of study or industry sectors they will be looking to pursue, so it is very possible that not all volunteer mentors will be matched with a mentee.

Volunteer mentors and student mentees apply to join the programme via an online application form. Student applicants work with us to select a mentor match from our pool of talented volunteers. All profiles are anonymised, and matches are based on student needs, interests and aspirations, verses mentor skills and experience.

The Mentoring at ARU programme will be running on a rolling basis for several months at a time. Therefore, if you do not receive a notification regarding a mentee match straight away, it is possible that a suitable mentee will join the programme and select your profile within the following months, at which point you will be contacted.

This sounds great, how can I get involved?

Simply register your interest below and we’ll be in touch with further details.

Please note, applications for volunteer mentors are currently open for the new cycle of the Mentoring at ARU programme. Matching is anticipated to take place between October 2022 and March 2023.

Sign up to become a mentor 



Any questions?

Email Katie Johnson, Employability & Careers Adviser (Mentoring & Activators): katie.johnson@aru.ac.uk

To find out more about the ways you can volunteer to be involved with Employability & Careers at ARU email employability@aru.ac.uk