Mentoring FAQs

What is mentoring?

Our mentors can help you to succeed by enhancing your employability through confidence building, networking and developing key employability skills. As a mentee, you will be matched with a mentor for one-to-one support. This partnership will help you create a solid foundation of skills to launch a variety of successful careers. Throughout the programme, you will benefit from semi-regular meetings with your mentor who will be an industry professional.

Bucks Mentoring runs November to May each year and we recommend a minimum of 5 meetings online or in-person. However, many mentors and mentees stay in touch beyond this period, having struck up a supportive relationship. We leave it to mentors and mentees to agree convenient times to meet or communicate, so the mentoring partnership can easily fit in with your existing commitments.

Any student in any year of study on any course can apply to be mentored, but places are limited. Most of our opportunities are open to all students, but some are targeted specifically at black African and Caribbean students and students of mixed race with black African and Caribbean heritage who face additional barriers in the graduate job market.

We welcome applications from alumni or professionals across a range of industries and sectors to become mentors. You need no prior experience in mentoring and you can be at any stage of your career. This is a great way to support others at the very start of their career journey and share your enthusiasm.

Mentors are expected to help and support mentees as they develop confidence, direction and employability skills. Each mentoring relationship is different, and has different aims, but mentoring tends to cover the following:

  • Discussing career choices and options
  • Encouraging discussions about ambitions and hopes beyond studies
  • Helping to identify individual skills, strengths, abilities and qualities
  • Building confidence and overcoming perceived weaknesses
  • Giving advice about graduate recruitment schemes
  • Providing advice for CVs and job applications
  • Developing interview skills
  • Providing specific industry insights
  • Encouraging full use of the University’s Student Opportunities and Careers Success team and resources

The application process involves a completing our application form. We will assess the quality of your application and how you demonstrate your motivation and commitment to the scheme.

We make every effort to match mentees with mentors that can provide relevant advice and guidance. We will use the information you provide in your application to shortlist mentees and match people suitably.

Where mentors have requested to work with students matching specific criteria, for example, students from an ethnic group that faces systemic disadvantages in the graduate job market, we will use the ethnicity information you supply in your application to support matching. However, most of our opportunities are open to all.

A minority of our opportunities are aimed students from ethnic groups that face systemic disadvantages in the graduate job market. We want to ensure that all our students have an equality of opportunity to be as successful as they can be: we recognise that in order to achieve this, we must be proactive in empowering our students and create opportunities to address inequality. However, most of our opportunities are open to all. We welcome conversations about this, so please email mentoring@bucks.ac.uk to discuss this further.

Application forms for mentors and mentees are available at the bottom of the Mentoring page. Applications for current students to be paired with a mentor close in mid-October each year, but you can express interest in being mentored in the next academic year at any point by completing the form at the end of the Mentoring page.

We consider applications from potential mentors all year round. If you have any questions, please email mentoring@bucks.ac.uk.

Yes. A member of the Bucks Mentoring team provides training to both mentors and mentees, so you can get the most out of the programme. Each participant also receives a detailed handbook that will answer most questions. You are welcome to email us via mentoring@bucks.ac.uk at any point in the programme for additional support or advice.

Mentors and mentees are expected to maintain a mutually acceptable level of confidentiality. This means the majority of personal information they share stays between them.