Introduction - Careers Network Mentoring Scheme
Hi I'm John I studied Chemistry at Birmingham and spent most of my career in Shell Chemicals with several overseas assignments and roles in global business management. After leaving Shell I set up a consultancy focusing on sustainability, innovation and competence development in the chemical industry.
I was also chairman of a publicly funded green chemical technology company which included major interventions with the EU in Brussels.
I retired in 2013 but was then encouraged by the University to become a mentor and I'm now looking forward to my fourth season in the role.
Mentoring Support - Careers Network Mentoring Scheme
Students are very busy and often find it tricky to focus on their future after graduation. I can help to provide that focus acting as a buddy to the mentee and offering guidance on job applications, tools and techniques, networking opportunities, advice on target industries and companies.
I also know something of the huge array of resources offered by the university and so can point mentees towards these. As an example, lecturers and researchers have invaluable experience and external contacts but these are often under promoted and therefore underused by students and I have the time.
In my previous mentoring relationships we have had face-to-face meetings on campus and elsewhere as well as regular video sessions.
I've helped with CV's, interview skills, psychometric profiling, introduction to useful contacts and a range of other advice. During this tricky corona era I believe mentors will have an even more important role to play to support students and I'm there to help whichever way I can.
Top Tip for Industry - Careers Network Mentoring Scheme
The key to success in applying for any job these days is to show you have the skills and the experiences that other candidates do not and to have the confidence to present them passionately and knowledgeably in a CV or interview.
Take every opportunity to gather work experience to volunteer to be part of a project team, demonstrate foreign language skills and give other examples to make you shine out.
The chemical industry is often given a negative press so being able to articulate ideas on successful innovation strategies which address the challenges of sustainability and reputations essential.
The chemical industry is a key part of our society but finds it hard to get the recognition it deserves.
Use examples to show how excited you are how chemistry is making the world a better place, its critical role in the quest for new drugs or in addressing the sustainable future of plastics is just two of them.