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Career Mentoring

Give students the skills and knowledge to make a bright future


Our Career Mentoring scheme offers Nottingham alumni the opportunity to provide career advice and support to current students and 2020 graduates

Mentoring develops via remote contact over the academic year, giving participants time to benefit from their mentor's professional experience and knowledge.

Cohort 1 mentoring will commence in early November, with Cohort 2 mentoring commencing in early March 2021.


Applications for our spring 2021 mentoring scheme are now open.

Please apply here by 30 November. 

Paul Kitchen, current mentor
Watching people grow is one of life’s greatest gifts. The experience with my mentees has been highly positive - they've taught me just as much as I've taught them. 

Paul Kitchen (Psychology/Philosophy, 1983)

Director of Toucan Digital and current Career Mentor 


Career Mentor Paul Kitchen explains the benefits of mentoring ➝

1. Giving back feels great: I’ve had so many breaks, helpful colleagues and brilliant mentors myself during my career who have made a real difference helping to inform my decisions so it felt right that I might do the same in a formal structure rather than informally with colleagues.

2. It’s a win-win for all parties: The first career step seems tougher now than when I graduated back in the day. Social media has a major impact on how young people relate to the world. Student stress levels are much higher and there is significant growth in mental health issues reported across media. Mentoring helps to create another support bridge between young talent, the University and potentially business leaders through internships/placements. 

3. It's a skill refresh: If you're a leader then you're probably already committed to lifelong learning and my experience with undergraduates has been highly positive. They're bright, socially savvy and will teach you just as much as you’re likely to teach them especially when it comes to using the very latest collaborative tools. This will stretch you and you will grow. My last mentee is a keen content curator and blogger with aspirations to work in marketing/social marketing which means I’ve learnt a lot from her as well. 

4. The results are measurable: Setting goals at the start of the relationship means you can create measuring posts during a specified period. Doing this well means you push the mentee and yourself to make it work for both of you. Together we created a list of the KPIs (key performance indicators) that we would use to measure how the relationship was working. My last mentee found both spring and summer internships during our short relationship and is already considering roles at the end of her studies.

5. Watching people grow is one of life’s greatest gifts: The impact you will have on confidence, thinking styles, boundaries, independence of thought, creativity is immense. You can make a real difference and this is definitely a two-way street. I’ve picked up some great insights into different working styles, as well as a deeper understanding of the challenges facing our young talent. I think I’m better prepared to be valuable going forward.

6. You are supported in the role: Regular status check-ins by the University and short surveys help to focus your effort and provide the opportunity to ask questions about progress.

Young talent deserves our support, they are our future. My mentees are bold, self-demanding and will find a way to make it happen. All they need is encouragement and direction, helping them to build the soft skills needed to perform in the real world. 


What to expect from us 

Communicate with mentees over email, phone or video call

If we find you a match* you can expect:

  • to receive introductory online training from a dedicated Mentoring Coordinator 
  • to receive ongoing support from your Mentoring Coordinator
  • to receive check-ins from our team across the duration of your mentoring partnership, ensuring everything is going well 

What we expect from you, the mentor 

How much time...

If matched you will need to accept our mentor agreement and also commit to: 

  • online mentor training at the start of the scheme (a 1 hour online induction) 
  • monthly mentoring sessions over email, text or videocall with your mentee
  • providing feedback in check-ins and end of scheme evaluation to our team 

Mentoring Timetable 2020 - 2021 (Current students and Class of 2020 alumni)  

Please note that there will be TWO mentoring cohorts over the coming academic year. As with previous schemes, we are looking to support current students. However, given our 2020 graduates are entering one of the toughest employment marketplaces in living memory, we are also extending our mentoring offer to 2020 alumni. 

Timescales for each cohort are below (please note: student and alumni to alumni mentoring will run concurrently): 

COHORT 1: November 2020 to March 2021

  • Mentee registrations: 1 September – 11 October
  • Mentor/mentee matching: Across October
  • Mentor/mentee introductions and contracting: From 3 November until early March
  • Evaluation: Late March

Mentors who are not matched in cohort 1 will be notified no later than 30 November 2020

COHORT 2: March to June 2021 

Applications for our spring 2021 mentoring scheme are now open. Please apply here by 30 November. 

  • Mentee registrations: 4 – 31 January 
  • Mentor/mentee matching: Across February
  • Mentor/mentee introductions and contracting: From 1 March until early June
  • Evaluation: Late June 

Mentors who are not matched in cohort 2 will be notified no later than 22 March 2021


The Perfect Partnership: Amy and Nerissa 

The Mentor: Hear why Amy, a senior scientist at Sygnature Discovery, chose to mentor Nottingham students.

The Mentee: Hear how mentoring helped fourth-year neuroscience student Nerissa feel inspired about her future career.


Are you a student seeking a mentor?

Contact the Careers and Employability Service by the end of October 2020.

Are you a recent graduate (2020) seeking a mentor?

Please contact for more information.

Alumni Relations

Portland Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 823 2408
fax: +44 (0)115 951 3937