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ICEF Mentoring Programme: summing up the fourth season and planning for the future

ICEF Mentoring Programme: summing up the fourth season and planning for the future

The Mentoring Programme is designed to build connections between the alumni, assist young students and fresh graduates in successfully navigating their career paths, and help students through the learning process and with personal projects. The Programme invites alumni to act as mentors and students and fresh graduates as mentees. Their interaction revolves around issues such as professional identity, career, graduate programme opportunities, steps to developing soft skills. Each mentor-mentee pair is set for a period of one academic year and is free to work out the logistics of their relationship. We have 20+ alumni who continue to act as mentors for as long as three years.

  • Membership size:

    2016/ 2017 Academic year

    24 mentors and 38 mentees

    2017/ 2018 Academic year

    33 mentors and 90 mentees

    2018/ 2019 Academic year

    41 mentors and 100+ mentees

    2019/ 2020 Academic year

    84 mentors and 111 mentees

Maksim Bochkov, Mentoring Programme supervisor on behalf of ICEF Alumni Association Board (BSc, 2015)

Maksim Bochkov, Mentoring Programme supervisor on behalf of ICEF Alumni Association Board (BSc, 2015)

The Mentoring Programme will receive further development in two main domains – quality and size. We’ll be working to ensure, in the first place, that mentors interact with their mentees in a most effective manner. This involves:

1) training for both sides. The alumni should know how to be an effective mentor and students how to work towards an effective mentor-mentee relationship and what to expect from interaction;

2) support to mentor-mentee pairs throughout the year and tools to provide prompt feedback, so that we could help out those who have difficulty working out their relationship; and

3) improved mentor-mentee matching process.

To expand the programme, we’ll be looking at ways of increasing student and alumni awareness.

There are a few things to be considered before applying for participation, with regard to mentor matching. Don’t get upset if you think you and your mentor aren’t a perfect match. It’s essential to remember that any mentor could be useful. Even if your mentor’s professional domain or interests do not quite coincide with yours, he or she may have experience or contacts that might appear helpful to you. He or she might be able to share the experience of going through a stage of life you find yourself in.  

The more prepared and ready you are to meet your mentor, the likelier you are to build a productive relationship. Before you meet your mentor, it might be advisable to ask yourself:

· What are my goals (six months, one year, three years)?

· What questions should I ask my mentor?

· What are my strengths and weaknesses? What skills do I want to develop?

The answers to these questions will form the basis for the interaction with your mentor.  

It’s essential that your first talk with your mentor results in a plan for next steps (these should be best reflected in your correspondence). Reiterate the outcome of your first meeting when you meet again. Please remember that your mentor will only be able to help you when you have a concrete aspiration. Taking the initiative to communicate your needs is the key to a productive interaction.

Veronica Storozhenko, Mentoring Programme supervisor on behalf of ICEF (BSc, 2014, ICEF Alumni Association Board member)

Veronica Storozhenko, Mentoring Programme supervisor on behalf of ICEF (BSc, 2014, ICEF Alumni Association Board member)

The Mentoring Programme is an integral part of the socialization process and a tool to educate our students. Students are using this programme to improve the goal-setting skills they know they will need in their future careers and learning process. The assistance and support they receive from the alumni gives them a sense of belonging to a big community. For the alumni this Mentoring Programme is a great way to share their experiences and gain fresh insights. We’ll be working to perfect our mentor-mentee matching schemes so that every participant could make the most of the programme. Also, we’d like to see more people in it, both students and alumni, for ICEF alumni community to become more vibrant.