By Louise Loxton - Head of Department, Employer Relationships

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The Amazing Power of Mentoring

If I could make one recommendation to you this year, it would be to find yourself a mentor. A mentor is in your corner. A mentor is a sounding board for your hopes and ideas. A mentor is an invaluable asset on your journey to work-readiness.

My favourite definition of what a mentor does was posted on one of the noticeboards on our UCEN campus recently. It’s by Shawn Hitchcock who says:

A mentor empowers a person to see a possible future, and believe it can be obtained. 

So how do you find one?

  • If you belong to any clubs or societies or have any part-time work, ask a professional person there if they would be interested in mentoring you, for example through a monthly catch-up. Don’t ask, don’t get. People like to help where they can and being a mentor to someone else can be very rewarding.  
  • Think about E-mentoring as an option – the organisation Brightside for example has mentors you can write with, who have all been DBS checked in advance
  • Ask at your college or place of study about any mentoring schemes they currently run. At TMC we are excited about working with national organisation OneMillionMentors for the first time this year to mentor some of our students. We will also be recruiting some E-mentors via BrightSide/National Literacy Trust and continuing to recruit face-to-face mentors through BW3 in Wythenshawe.  

Mentoring rules 

  • Always meet in a public place – cafes or coffee shops are a good idea
  • Agree in advance on how often to meet, how long the mentoring session will be for, and what you would like to gain from it (e.g. introduction to a network, help formulating some goals)

Working with a mentor is a chance to define and discuss your goals, aspire to new ones and take positive action to make them happen. Your mentor is part of your “support crew”, a professional person you can talk with and share your hopes and wishes with, outside of your family, circle of friends, tutors or study colleagues. 

So if you’re reading this as an employer, do speak to us about mentoring one of our students and we’ll match you to a young person who could really benefit from your support: As my own mentee recently put it:  “We’re starting out and we need all the help we can get.”

That just about sums it up!

Coming soon

Watch out for some feedback from our current mentors and mentees on our employability website.