Careers Network Mentoring Scheme
BA English Literature, 2022
Tell us a bit about yourself, your mentorship and
what you gained from taking part in
the mentoring scheme.
My name is Hope, I am a third year undergraduate English Literature student. I intend to go into finance, which is quite a transition from English, so I decided to take part in the Careers Network Mentoring Scheme to gain some insight into the finance sector.
My mentor is a Restructuring Analyst with Alvarez & Marsal who studied Economics at University of Birmingham. During the mentorship, we discussed application processes, assessment centres, and interview styles. This was invaluable as he had already completed these stages and could give me tips on how to get out of the process what I wanted. We met each month for a coffee and to catch up.
Due to his help, I have now firmed a place at St Andrews to study an MSc in Sustainable Development and also accepted a job offer in Chartered Accountancy for September 2023.
Did you have any preconceptions about the mentoring experience
that were challenged as a result of your experience?
I did not feel anxious about the mentoring scheme as I knew that it was an opportunity that doesn't come along often. Being able to speak to someone who has been in your shoes and gain insights into how they overcame any obstacles is so useful. It wasn't an intimidating experience, when we first met for coffee it was a relaxed and engaging conversation and it just felt like meeting up with a friend.
What is one piece of advice you learnt from your mentor?
I learned to write out all answers to possible interview questions beforehand and memorise them so that you are never caught off guard. This was such an invaluable tip for me as I was not finding interviews enjoyable, but now with this advice I find them exciting.
Can you share any top tips for making the most of the mentoring
opportunity and how to be an effective mentee?
Make sure you have a set of questions for each meeting. Planning your conversation gives you the agency to get what you want out of the experience and gives way for the conversation to lead to useful tips that you can carry forward with you.
Why would you recommend the scheme to other students?
I would certainly recommend the experience to other students, especially those who are looking at moving to a sector that doesn't necessarily align with their degree. My mentor helped me to understand the industry so much better as well as just being reassuring and encouraging. It is a daunting thing breaking into an industry that you are not familiar with so having someone there to support you and answer any questions is so helpful.