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Employer Mentoring Programme Linking disabled students with business mentors

“This was such an opportunity and I enjoyed it so much I cannot wait to go again!� Richard Blackmore LLB Law Student

This programme received start up funding from the South West Regional Development Agency as a part of the Graduates for Business Project, 2006-09


The Employer Mentoring Programme The University of Plymouth’s Employer Mentoring Programme aims to link disabled students with local industry professionals to gain support and an insight into a specific area of work, linked to their career area. The students are given the chance to improve their personal and employability skills, whilst mentors gain professional development opportunities. The progamme runs for 6 months with 1 meeting per month. The programme’s flexibility means these can be tailored to suit both the student and mentor.

Benefits to the students:

Benefits to mentors:

• Helps clarify career ideas

• Develops your coaching skills

• Increases understanding of job roles

• Refreshes your own view of work

• Provides an opportunity to access advice on getting into a career area • Helps with CV writing and job hunting • Increases self-confidence of work situations • Increases confidence in addressing issues around disability and disclosing your disability to employers.

• Develops student interest in your sector and organisation • Promotes personal reflective learning • Provides an opportunity to act as a positive role model • Increases your awareness of diversity issues


The student perspective Students from any subject areas can take part in the Employer Mentoring Programme and we will aim to pair you up with a mentor from your chosen career area. Students who have participated to date have come from subject areas including law, science, psychology and business. These are a selection of their comments.

Student Emma Kirk Occupational Therapy Year 2

Andrea Harvey Ocean Science Year 1

“I decided to join the scheme so I can explore another area of OT and get some more insight into the areas I might be most suited to. I also wanted to consider how my CFS/ME might impact my career and to discuss potential career routes I might be able to take when I graduate.

“I joined the programme as I wanted the chance to talk over issues concerning my course with someone who has already undertaken the same degree. From the programme I have gained a useful contact in the industry and a helpful source of information!”

I have really enjoyed meeting Katie, she makes a great mentor as she is supportive, knowledgeable and very encouraging. I have gained a great contact in her and have found it really useful to talk through her experiences and to get her advice. I have gained a deeper insight into the work of an OT on an inpatient ward and been able to discuss the application of theory to practice. This all helps me to weigh up the pros and cons of working in this environment with regards to my health.”

Below: Emma Kirk, Paul Nosworthy

Paul Nosworthy Applied Chemistry Year 1 “I wanted to take part in the Employer Mentoring Project for an opportunity to learn about how my disability might potentially affect my job prospects. I also wanted a good look at what work in the real world as a scientist would involve. From the project I have gained a look inside the work of a research scientist, a work ex-perience placement for the summer and confidence and an insight into academic work.”


The student perspective Tamasine Murphy Graduate Diploma in Law 2008-2009

Luke Skorka-Brown Psychology Year 3

“The difficulties with my disability, dyspraxia, need to be overcome in order to be considered by future employers on an even playing field as my peers. This is quite an obstacle to overcome, with confidence in your own abilities a daily challenge. The mentoring project has provided invaluable support in my chosen field of law, building my own confidence and helped to overcome my difficulties with dyspraxia. Carol has been an amazing support. She has helped me fine tune my applications for The Inns of Court, London, and I have now successfully been accepted at The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn. She has supported me with: my applications to the Universities for the final year of my academic training, the BVC, and I was successful in being offered placements at two of the establishments in the first round; my OLPAS online applications to the various Barristers Chambers with regards to pupilage for 2010/2011; and is also helping me with updating my CV. Carol’s help has been invaluable, and I wholly appreciate the time she has set aside to assist myself with the furtherance of my academic training towards achieving my ultimate goal, a barrister of law, and provided an a truthful oversight of a Barrister’s daily life in practise. Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to be involved in the employer mentoring project, it has most definitely proved invaluable for myself!”

“Being dyslexic I want to find out if or how it would affect me in the role of being an Educational Psychologist as the job requires a high level of reading and writing ability. Also I thought this would be an invaluable opportunity to gain inside knowledge and to learn which areas I will need to improve to be able to gain my end goal. I have learnt many different areas that I need to increase my knowledge in, for example, different government acts that need to be read and understood. Also I have found out how very varied an Educational Psychologists day to day activities are and which areas are focused on more than others, thus increasing my passion to work in this area of psychology.”

Below: Tamasine Murphy


The mentor’s perspective The mentors that have taken part in the 08/09 Mentoring Project represent a wide range of local businesses and professions. Mentors have helped with CV writing, application processes, arranged visits to their work place and provided a real insight into what can be expected after graduating.

Jack Gilbert Molecular Ecologist, Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Barry Sullivan Trainee Educational Psychologist, Mannamead Centre

“I have always been keen on imparting some of my experience to young scientists. I run a diverse lab with a number of research interests and a range of different personalities. It seemed a good opportunity for the right person to come and take advantage of the extensive experience within my group.

“There are a number of reasons why I took part in this programme! I am excited and proud of the profession I am following. To pass on my experience and discuss the work with somebody interested in the idea I felt was a privilege.

I have found the enthusiasm and gratitude expressed by Paul has given me a sense of pride and satisfaction. I am now keen to see him progress as far as possible.”

Carol Mashembo Barrister, Kings Bench Chambers “With an increasingly competitive employment market, I wanted to assist a prospective barrister firstly in their various applications to achieve their goal and secondly to learn a little of what life at the Bars offers. Through the project, I have gained a clear understanding of the challenges facing my student as she attempts to find a place at Bar School and pupillage and moreover, admiration for her determination to achieve her goal.”

Meeting Luke was a great opportunity to discuss our different experiences and how he can build on his to pursue a career in educational psychology. ”

Katie Ferns Occupational Therapist, Derriford Hospital “I have been mentoring Emma Kirk, a 2nd Year OT student. There are a lot of positives to be taken from the experience. I have recently achieved promotion at work and it has given me an opportunity to be enthusiastic about my role but to also give Emma an insight into the reality of working in a busy Acute hospital setting. Emma has been a wonderful first mentee, and has demonstrated a willingness to learn that has made our meetings a real pleasure.”


The mentor’s perspective Rebecca Mabelle Solicitor, Nash & Co Solicitors LLP “I wanted to take part in the Employer Mentoring Project to offer support and encouragement to a fellow ‘lawyer’ at the beginning of their path towards qualification, or whatever other career they may decide upon. That was my initial reason. Upon meeting Sue however I realised that she was far more experienced in life and the work place than your average student and at this point my aim became just to give her a boost or some friendly tips when life became a little hectic for her. Sue is a wonderful lady, full of guts and determination and it was a pleasure just to get to know her. Above all however it is extremely important to any student that there are people around to offer support an ear from time to time and personally from being that ear I’d like to think I’ve given just a little bit of extra will power to Sue to keep going when things have seemed a little tough! I take a sense of pride in that.”

Dani Bowman Conditional Cautioning Co-ordinator, Devon & Cornwall Constabulary “I wanted to take part in the programme as, having been a student myself, I felt that there always seemed a lot of questions to be asked about the

Below: Rebecca Mabelle

‘real world’. I thought if I could share any of my experiences with another student, it might help to answer some of those questions. I also wanted to show how diverse the opportunities could be for someone reading a degree like Criminology and Criminal Justice. I feel I have made a positive contribution to Fleur’s final year and, at the same time, I’ve actually gained more of an insight into the Youth Justice side of my organisation. It means I now have contacts with other members of staff who I would need to meet in the coming months anyway. It has re-affirmed my enthusiasm and drive, proving how much I enjoy my job. I see how my degree has given me the skills necessary to do it well. The thought that I might have helped Fleur in her own goals is really rewarding.”

Matt Bryan Learning and Development Assistant, Ashfords “I was previously a student at the University of Plymouth and wanted to give something back to the University by helping a student to develop their skills and hopefully assisting them with obtaining the experience to enter the career of their choice. The Employer Mentoring Programme has allowed me to appreciate what I can give back to someone else by using my own experiences. “


Employer Mentoring Project Application Form: Name: ______________________________________________________________________________________ Term Time Address: ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ Preferred email address: ______________________________________________________________________________________ Telephone Number(s): ______________________________________________________________________________________ Course title and year of study from September 2008: ______________________________________________________________________________________ Please outline your preferred aspects of your degree course (e.g. particular modules, topics, fieldwork): ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ As this is a mentoring programme for disabled students, we require details on your disability: ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ Do you require any special assistance or facilities e.g. interpreter, wheelchair access? ______________________________________________________________________________________ Please outline your reasons for taking part in the mentoring programme: ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ Preferred location for mentoring meetings: ______________________________________________________________________________________ Any other information: ______________________________________________________________________________________ I am happy for this information to be passed onto my mentor:

YES

NO

Signed: ______________________________________________________________________________


How to apply to take part in the Mentoring Project: Complete the form and return it to Sarah Facy at: The Careers Service, 3 Portland Mews, University of Plymouth, PL6 5WP

If you would like an electronic copy please email: careers@plymouth.ac.uk

For more information on the project please visit: www.plymouth.ac.uk/careers/mentoring

Employer Mentoring Brochure 2008  

Employer Mentoring Programme for students at the University of Plymouth including a selection of case studies from students and mentors.

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