For further information about the Career mentoring programme, please have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions below. If you still have questions, please email us.
Who can be a mentor?
All alumni from across the University. If you would like be a mentor, please complete our online registration form.
When can I sign up?
We recruit mentors twice a year in August and March, we will be in touch every August for feedback and to ask you to confirm your profile in the system is up to date.
However, mentees can join the programme and approach mentors at any point in the year.
What is the role of a mentor?
Mentoring is widely recognised as a powerful tool in personal and career development for both the mentor and mentee. The role of a mentor is to share information and use your skills and experience to guide your mentee - this could be in relation to their time and studies at Cranfield or their career.
What makes a good mentor?
Each mentee will be looking for something slightly different from a mentor, but a good mentor is honest and supportive while also willing to provide constructive criticism. Both the mentor and mentee need to be open and honest to foster a relationship where the mentee doesn’t worry about ‘stupid questions’ or being seen as naïve. Some mentees will not have worked in the professional world before and your guidance and experience will be welcomed.
What support can I provide?
There are many ways you can support our mentees. You can find out more in the 'Ways you can help' section in our mentoring handbook.
Is the mentoring programme face to face?
No, the programme is hosted online via a platform called ProNet. All communication will be through this platform and email. However, it is up to the mentor and mentee whether they would like to share other personal details in order to communicate through other platforms, such as social media and phone.
What is the time commitment?
There is no set time commitment for being a mentor as each mentoring relationship is different. However, we would expect you would be in touch approximately once per month with your mentee. In your initial correspondence with your mentee it is important to set expectations on both sides with regards to the time available.
The programme is run for students, however, it is up to each mentor and mentee to decide if they wish to continue the relationship after the mentees' studies are complete.
As a mentor, how will I benefit from this programme?
Taking part in the mentoring programme has great benefits for the mentor. It is an opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise, as well as develop skills as a mentor that you can add to your CV. You can discover more benefits for you and your organisation on our web pages.
Is mentoring confidential?
Once you have signed up to the mentoring platform you will need to enter an email address to be able to participate, along with your name, details of the course you studied and your current job details. All mentees on the platform will be able to access your profile and the email that you link to the platform. If you would rather keep your personal or work email address private then you may consider making an email address specifically for the purpose of the mentoring programme.
How often should I be in touch with my mentee?
There is no set times or expectations of when and how often you should be in touch with your mentee, each relationship will be different. Set the expectations with your mentee in your initial meetings about how much time you are willing to give them.
However, we would suggesta rough guide of meeting approximately once per month with your mentee, unless they are looking for some specific guidance over a short period.
What are the mentees expecting?
The briefing for mentees has explained that the Career mentoring programme is an aid to support them in their career development and that there are a wide range of mentors, with different backgrounds and levels of experience involved in the programme. Mentees will be looking to their mentors for advice and guidance to help them in a variety of areas - whether that be sharing insight into a specific industry or moving sector to developing networking or negotiating skills. The mentees have been asked to reflect on their aims and ambitions and review the mentors’ profiles with that in mind in order to approach the mentor who will be best placed to help them.
What should I include in my mentor profile?
Mentees will approach mentors based on their profile in the Symplicity system. Your profile should include details about your career, such as your:
- Job history
- Key areas of success and responsibility
- Experiences of moving country or industry.
You can also include areas where you think you can particularly help a potential mentee, for example finding a first graduate job, providing insights into a specific industry, salary negotiation or writing a business plan. The more detail you provide the better idea the mentee will have on how you can support them.
How are mentees and mentors matched?
A list of mentors will be made available to the mentees on the mentoring platform. They will access your profiles and read the information you provided. If they wish to begin a mentee/mentor relationship with you they can select the ‘Interested’ button which will automatically send you an email to prompt a response.
How long does the programme run for?
This programme is ongoing - the students are given access at the beginning of the year and will be able to approach mentors throughout their period of study. Therefore, as a mentor you could be approached at various times of the year. We hope this will mean that the students approach mentors at a convenient time for their career development, but this will also mean the mentors are not receiving multiple mentee approaches at one time.
How do I contact the mentee?
When a mentee has expressed an interest in establishing contact with you, you will receive an email that will include a message from the mentee and will prompt you to log into the mentoring programme to respond to the message you have received. You can manage the communications through the mentoring system or you can choose to exchange email addresses and contact each other directly.
What if nobody approaches me to mentor?
If you are not approached by a mentee you may want review at your profile and update the information you provided. The mentoring programme ongoing, and although you may not have been approached to be a mentor this academic year you may find that you have requests from the next cohort of students.
What if other commitments come up? Can I leave the programme?
You can stop mentoring at any time, however, we ask that you let your mentee know if you are not going to be able to continue the relationship.
You should also make your profile ‘inactive’ so that it will not be able to be viewed by mentees. If your circumstance change or you change your mind then you can then make it ‘active’ again and re-join the programme at a later date.
How many mentees can I have at one time?
The platform does not have a limit on the number of mentees who can register their interest in starting a communication with you. However, as a mentor, you can decide whether to decline the invitation or begin the communication. We suggest you limit the number of mentees to two mentees at a time.
Do I get paid as a mentor?
No, this is a volunteering role and mentors will not be receiving payment.
What if the mentee isn’t what I expected?
We encourage all mentors to persist with their mentoring relationship, even if your first impression of your mentee is not what you expected. Please remember that this may be the first time your mentee has met an experienced professional in their chosen industry and it can be daunting for them.
If you still have concerns after persisting, please contact the Alumni team to discuss the issue further. We want both you and your mentee to have a positive mentoring experience and we will endeavour to rectify any issues that may arise.
How can I end the mentoring relationship?
If you don’t believe you are a good fit for your mentee or if your circumstances change so you are no longer able to continue as a mentor, please let your mentee know as soon as possible. If you would like to provide any additional feedback please contact the Career Development Service.
Who do I contact if I have questions?
If you do have any questions please contact the Alumni team. During the six-months, a member of the volunteering team will be in contact with you to see how you are getting on.
How often should I be in touch with my mentor?
There are no set times or expectations of when and how often you should be in touch with your mentor, each relationship will be different. Set the expectations with your mentor when you are first establishing your goals and what you hope to achieve from having a mentor. It is very important to always be in contact with your mentor at the agreed time. The mentors are giving up their time to support you and being timely with your communications shows respect for their continued support.
How will I be matched to a mentor?
A list of mentors will be made available to the mentees on the mentoring platform. You can access their profiles and read the information they have provided. If you wish to begin a mentee/mentor relationship with them you can select the ‘Interested’ button and send them a message to approach them. The mentors will then be sent an email to prompt a response.
What if my mentor declines my request?
Mentors are asked to review your proposal and ensure they can support you in your request. If they decline it is because they do not feel able to help you on this occasion. We encourage you to approach another mentor, and if you need support in wording your request or clarifying your needs, please contact the Career Development Service.
How do I end the mentoring relationship as a mentee?
- If the chemistry doesn’t work.
It may be that after your first meeting you don’t feel like your mentor is the right fit, and you would like to approach another mentor. This is fine, we understand that not everybody will find the perfect mentor straight away. Your mentor will also be using the first meeting to get a better understanding of what you need and how they can help you.
However, if you feel your mentor isn’t the right one for you please communicate this to the mentor in a respectful and courteous way. This ensures they are not chasing you and waiting for a response, it also means they are free to meet with other mentees who would be a good match for a mentoring relationship. Further advice on this can be found on Symplicity.
- If you have achieved your objective.
When you first met with your mentor you will have discussed the areas that you would like to seek their advice and guidance on, and set objectives based on this discussion. Once your objectives have been met, you can discuss next steps with your mentor. You may both agree that you would like to stay in touch, or you may feel the relationship has come to a natural end. If you feel the mentoring relationship has come to its natural end, please be honest with your mentor and thank them for their support in helping you achieve your aims. This will free up the mentor’s time and enable them to decide if they wish to begin working with a new mentee.
As a mentee, who do I contact if I have questions?
If you are a current student and have any questions about the mentoring programme please contact the Career Development Service who will be delighted to help you.