One of the most valuable ways in which Magdalen contributes to the Pathway to Success Leadership and Development initiative is through its mentorship programme, in which the programme participants are allocated a mentor from the Magdalen alumni community. After the week-long residential course at Magdalen, the 30 participants are matched with a volunteer alumni mentor, and they commit to a mentoring partnership for the rest of the academic year.
The current mentors in our first cohort include politicians such as Lord Hague, Dominic Grieve, Jeremy Hunt and Nick Boles; peers such as Baroness Harding, Lord Jay, and Lord Wood, as well as business leaders, leadership coaches, lawyers, journalists and entrepreneurs – all from among our alumni. The rich variety of skills and experience our mentors can offer has led to some extremely rewarding partnerships, giving the participants the tools and confidence to take the next step in their own leadership careers, and has been mutually beneficial, with mentors learning a huge amount from the participants in return.
The mentoring programme and the Pathway to Success Leadership and Development programme provide a unique opportunity for Magdalen to support diverse leadership in politics and society in general, and to connect with, and learn from, BAME leaders.
Mentor recruitment – can you help?
Magdalen has committed to running the Pathway to Success programme for the next three years, and we are now keen to build on the calibre of this year’s mentorship programme to create an exceptional bank of alumni mentors in senior positions in the civil service, politics and business for the 2020-21 programme starting this October.
We are delighted that Baroness Lane Fox and Sarah Healey, Permanent Secretary of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have already joined the 2020/21 mentorship team. If you have relevant experience in politics, the public sector, business, or leadership coaching, and would like to be part of this exciting project, then please get in touch for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The guideline core time required of mentors is six hours, spread over six mentorship sessions over the nine months to the end of June 2021, with a further annual meeting in the succeeding four years, but there is considerable flexibility for the mentor and participant to determine together the best format and level of commitment. We also host optional events at Magdalen and Westminster throughout the year for mentors to meet one another and the full cohort of participants.
Through initiatives such as Pathway to Success, we aim not only to increase diversity at Magdalen, to make it the most dynamic of academic and intellectual environments, but also to have an impact on society beyond the spires of Oxford.