Careers Network Mentoring Scheme
BSc Biological Sciences, 2022
Mentored by Jaswant Kaur
Tell us a bit about your mentoring experience.
My name is Joy, and I graduated with a degree in Biological Sciences in 2022. I took part in the careers mentoring scheme. My careers mentor was a senior laboratory technician in the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham. I had in-person meetings with my mentor weekly over the duration of 4 months. During the mentorship we discussed my mentor's job specification as well as her academic and professional career. My mentor provided me with CV, job application and job market advice.
Did you have any preconceptions about the mentoring
experience that were challenged as a result of your experience?
At first, I was apprehensive about speaking with a professional in a career I was unfamiliar with. However, my mentor was very friendly and welcoming, which alleviated my apprehension about the mentorship. My mentor informed me about her job role and career in a way that helped me consider whether her profession would be right for me. I was also unsure whether I would have topics enough to discuss with my mentor during our 1 hour meetings. However, I found that our conversations flowed easily, and I left each meeting learning more than what I originally planned.
What is one piece of advice you learnt from your mentor you could share
with other students/graduates?
One piece of advice I got from my mentor was to persevere during the job search process post-graduation. It is normal to spend a few weeks or months applying for jobs, interviewing and receiving rejections before you receive a job offer that is suited to you.
Can you share any top tips for making the most of the mentoring
opportunity and how to be an effective mentee?
My top tip to make the most of the mentoring opportunity is to be organised whilst planning your meetings. I would encourage planning meetings with your mentor in advance and setting out a clear plan of what you'd like to discuss during each session, to make the most of your time as well as your mentor's time.
Why would you recommend the scheme to other students?
I would definitely recommend this scheme to other students. My mentor was very friendly and welcoming, and I thoroughly enjoyed our meetings. I also received valuable CV, job application and job market advice that I may not have been able to access otherwise. Furthermore, my mentor informed me about her own profession, which was a career I hadn't considered before. Due to my positive experience, I plan to keep in touch with my mentor after I graduate to keep her updated about my career journey.