Our alumni can have a real impact on the lives of the next generation of Reading students by becoming a mentor. In today’s blog alumna Natalie Tarling, our Career Mentoring Officer, tells us about how the project has been working and her personal experience in enabling alumni and students to collaborate.
The University’s own career mentoring scheme has seen hundreds of students gain first-hand advice from our fantastic alumni mentors. As an alumna of Reading myself, it is great to see how generous and devoted our volunteers are to supporting undergraduates as they find their feet. One theme we see recurring is how our mentors say “I wish this scheme had existed when I was at University” and I must say that I agree with them.
Thrive was set up in 2014 consisting of a modest pilot in two departments which saw the pairing of just under one hundred students with esteemed alumni mentors. The scheme was such a success that a further four departments were added during 2015 and from this summer we are moving into providing mentors in nearly all disciplines across the University. It is a very exciting time for the mentoring team.
I have had the opportunity to get to know some of our brilliant mentors and ambitious mentees over the past two years; I have heard about the triumphs, the break-through moments, the laughs, the tears and the rollercoaster that is University life. Our students say that having a mentor who has been through it all before creates a huge sense of inspiration. We are seeing our students achieve more and more each year and it isn’t possible without our brilliant mentors. This year we want to keep this positive change happening.
A devoted career mentoring team supports all participants through every aspect of the scheme; everybody is trained, offered guidance, given support when needed and kept up to date with regular news bulletins. We have seen the effect mentoring has on our students, but we can’t do it without you.
Becoming a career mentor will only take an hour of your time per month from September onwards, but the effect remains with our students for years to come. Register your interest today or contact the team for an informal chat about how mentoring can fit around your lifestyle. We look forward to hearing from you.
You can learn more about the impact of mentoring on our IMAGINE website.