Professional Mentoring Scheme a success

Professional Mentoring Scheme

3 May 2012

Aston Business School’s Professional Mentoring Scheme for 2011/12 has proved a real success providing second year undergraduates with ‘real life’ business advice and an insight into leading organisations.

Second year students involved in the Professional Mentoring Scheme were matched to professional mentors with skills directly relevant to their degrees and career preferences within a variety of areas. These included finance, marketing, logistics, sales, engineering, human resources and Information Technology. The end of scheme celebration event on Wednesday 25th April, recognised the relationships made throughout the scheme. It included awards for ‘Most Supportive Mentor’, which was won by Karen Collier from Marks & Spencer and ‘Most Progressed Mentee’ won by Thomas Oakley, BSc Marketing student.

Nearly 100 business professionals signed up to mentor Aston University undergraduates. These organisations included Accenture, Barclays, BMW, Cap Gemini, Jaguar Land Rover, KPMG, Lloyds Banking Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers, TUI Travel and many successful and innovative SMEs. The scheme, now in its second year, is also aimed at supporting business professionals in their own development and to provide a platform in developing their own business networks.

The scheme has received positive feedback from mentors and mentees;

James Williams from Birmingham City Council said, “I have found mentoring a student very rewarding and I hope that my mentee has found my input valuable.”

Hayley Crawford from Bristan Group commented, “I have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the Aston Professional Mentoring Scheme. I feel I have really made a difference to my mentee by providing guidance to help her find her placement, which she starts in July. I would definitely be interested in supporting Aston University next year.”

Roy Day from Phoebus Software Limited also said, “I saw immense gains from my mentee, they learnt a lot in the process, as did I. I have participated for two years running, it has been a totally positive experience and I would like to participate again next year.”

Charlotte Buckley, a BEng Design Engineering student added, “With regular contact and friendly advice, I feel that my mentor was on my side 100% through the process. I found this very helpful and his support has been most appreciated in this challenging time in my university career.”

Mariana Badea, a BSc Finance student commented, “I believe that my mentor’s practical approach has helped me better understand the importance of a right mix between theory and practice in the financial industry.  My mentor has made me see the implications of working in the financial industry with new eyes, from choosing the right business line that is suited to my personality, to balancing professional and personal life.  I am grateful for the opportunity I have been offered, to join the professional mentoring scheme and to meet my mentor.”

This ABS-led programme is one strand of the University’s larger Mentoring Scheme. Aston’s established Peer Mentor and Alumni Mentor Schemes also aim to provide a range of opportunities for current students and alumni to work with and support Aston undergraduates.

For further information on Aston University Professional Mentoring Scheme, please contact Nathalie Lam on n.lam1@aston.ac.uk

For further media information contact Kreesha Pattani, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4552 or k.pattani1@aston.ac.uk