Posted by: clairebyron | April 17, 2015

The power of mentoring

Every so often on Careering Ahead we include a guest post if we think our readers would find it interesting. The following is from Helen Hayes, Placement Officer (Mentoring) at Newcastle Uni Careers Service…

‘Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction’, John C. Crosby.

Most people have had an informal mentor at some point in their life – family members, friends and colleagues can all help us to find direction. But have you had mentoring to help with your career?

Career Mentoring is a programme run through the Careers Service which pairs students with mentors working in the North East. Over a series of at least four sessions you can chat to your mentor about your career plans, concerns and ideas. Mentors can use their experience and knowledge of the workplace to give you an insight into a specific career.

Why mentoring? Well, let me rewind… in 2010 I finished my Masters and took up my role on a graduate scheme. It was going swimmingly until we were all made redundant six months in. What was I going to do? How could I plan a different career path? I worked with a mentor who helped me through the whole process – over a series of sessions we worked through everything from finding out what was most important to me and setting career goals, to writing a plan to help me get there.

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As well as tightening up my career plans, it was invaluable to have someone to bounce ideas off and help keep me on track. My mentor also helped me develop my network and chat to people working in areas that interested me – it gave me a real insight into what certain companies and industries were like.
Now I run the Career Mentoring programme through the Careers Service and I’m able to offer this experience to others. Students already working with a mentor on the programme have said their self-confidence has increased and that they feel more prepared to enter the workplace. It’s a great opportunity to hear first-hand what it takes to be a success in your chosen career.

Interested in working with a mentor to help you take that next step after finishing university? Check out our website for more information, or contact

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