Preview: Mentees to Mentors

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This is a student as ’mentors program’ in which a handful of students would be given the opportunity to gain a short term placement or shadowing opportunity, these students would then return to the university as mentors to their peers, passing on their knowledge and experience. The hypothesis of the project was that we have limited placement resources currently, but we know the benefits of placements for students and their future employability. Given the benefits of networking shown in previous research, we know that students from working-class backgrounds with their new experience of being in the workplace, will be more favourable sources of information for their peers than the careers staff, who in turn can take a more backstage support role for the mentors.

The aim of the project was to begin to evaluate the effectiveness ofthe ‘mentees to mentors’ project, by looking at how our students who had the opportunity to shadow a professional in their chosen field, changed in terms of their confidence and skills profiles as measured by two number of skills assessment tool, the Skills Health Check and the UCLan- Employability Development Profile. Results are limited (only two students completed fully) but worth discussing. Overall, the project was successful in increasing student confidence and understanding of the workplace, and increasing the breadth of the benefit to other students who were unable to gain a placement.

Dr Katerina Kantartzis, Lecturer in Psychology

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