Ellen Jennings

Careers Network Mentoring Scheme 
Libreal Arts and Natural Sciences, 2021

Introduction - Careers Network Mentoring Scheme

Hi, my name is Ellen and I'm a Liberal Arts and Sciences student and I took part in the Careers Network Mentoring Scheme in 2019 to 2020. My mentor is an Economist at Ofgem but had a lot of previous experience working in the public sector.

I took part in the scheme whilst I was on my year abroad, so we had a meeting via Skype about once a month for eight months which meant that we continued mentoring through lockdown and we're still in touch now. My mentor was really supportive and gave me lots of useful advice for writing a good CV, performing well in an interview and looking for interesting grad schemes that suited my skills. And he was really encouraging and helped me think about possible career options I hadn't thought about before. He also helped me find two internship opportunities both of which I was successful in applying for and, now I'm in my final year, he's helping me find grad schemes and frequently shares job opportunities with me.

Advice from mentor - Careers Network Mentoring Scheme

One piece of advice that my mentor told me was to be really clear about what you've learned from your experiences. So every time you do an assignment, work experience, internship, or any kind of extracurricular activity, think about the skills you've developed and how you developed them and then in the future you always have examples of your strengths that can easily be referred to. And it also helps you to speak more confidently about yourself which is something that can be really challenging.

Top Tip for mentorship - Careers Network Mentoring Scheme

My first tip for making the most out of this experience is to plan ahead for every meeting. Your mentor is going to be a really busy person but, if you're organised and put in that effort, you can get the most from their expertise. It also helps you manage the process and your time and it's easy to be clear about when you're available. Secondly, be sure to be open-minded, if your mentor doesn't obviously relate to the career path you're interested in, it really doesn't matter. If you put that effort in, you can get so much from this experience and there are so many jobs that exist – many of which we've never heard of before! So, treat it as a chance to find out about some of them because you just never know what you might find interesting.


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