The Mini-Mentorship Programme

Connecting with an alumni mentor can be a great way to explore interesting industries and to lay the foundation for your future career. This page will help you to make the most out of your mini-mentorship relationship.

The Student Guide

Mini-Mentorship Programme: Sign up for Mentees

Mini-Mentorship Programme: Sign up for Mentees

The Mini-Mentorship programme, is an initiative run by the Development Office that has the aim of connecting current students with Magdalen alumni. Through this connection, students will have the opportunity to seek career advice and guidance as they begin to explore their options for the future. The information given in this form will be used by the Development Office to pair you with an alumnus that is an expert in your field of interest.

Name
Name
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Last
I am happy for these details to be shared with prospective mentors
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You submit a Mini-Mentee application form and we find you an appropriate mentor

  • Using your subject and areas of interest, we will find a Mini-Mentor from a pool that we think is most likely to be helpful

We will contact the mentor

  • Using your application responses, we send an email that incorporates your degree, your areas of interest, your relevant experience and what you would like to get from the Mini-Mentorship to see if they would be willing to help
  • If they are willing to Mini-Mentor you, we get in contact with you
  • If they are not willing to Mini-Mentor you, we find you a new mentor

We contact you

  • Using the information, we have; we send an email to you that has a brief overview of the mentor’s experiences and career to see if you would be willing to be connected
  • If you are willing to be connected, we introduce you to the Mini-Mentor via email

We connect the Mini-Mentee and Mini-Mentor

  • We will send you some brief guidance regarding how you should conduct your relationship with your Mini-Mentor
  • We attach a ‘Tips and Tricks’ sheet so you can make the most of your Mini-Mentorship experience
  • We send an email to the Mini-Mentor, copying you into the email in order to share your contact details with one another

After your Mini-Mentorship experience

  • We send an email to you to see if you completed your Mini-Mentorship and/or need any help to proceed
  • We ask for an overview of and feedback on your experience to help us improve the overall programme
  • We invite you to repeat the experience, as and when you need it, by recompleting the form
  • We get in contact with your Mini-Mentor to ask for their comments and feedback, as well as to update their career details to ensure the progression of the programme

After you’ve been put in touch with an alumni mentor, it’s time to plan an initial meeting to talk about what you’re hoping to learn and how the alumni mentor can help.

It is your job to get in contact with them first, after the introduction email.

We would recommend an email that begins with thanking the mentor for agreeing to mini mentor you; then provide some dates/times that you are available before asking them when is best for them.  See an example below:

 

“Dear [NAME],

I hope this email finds you well.

Thank you for agreeing to mentor me – I am looking forward to talking to you and hearing your expertise!

I’m really interested in your career path and how you got into doing what you do. I’m currently studying for my Undergraduate/Masters/DPhil which involves research/focuses on …….

I am really interested in pursuing a career in [INDUSTRY] and have got some experience doing……/I haven’t quite decided which direction I want to take my career yet but I am interested in……

I wondered if you would have any time to call: I’m free [TUESDAY AFTERNOONS, WEEKENDS, ANY TIME AFTER 5PM ON WEEKDAYS etc] but let me know which times work best for you.

I would appreciate any help you’d be able to offer me.

With best wishes,

[NAME]”

 

Be as flexible as possible – many mentors have very busy schedules and may have limited availability.

The best way to make the most of your Mini-Mentorship programme is to plan ahead for your meetings.

Take the time to think of questions that you would want to ask and what this specific mentor can help you with that you can’t get elsewhere.

In order to figure this out, it can be worth researching your mentor, the place where they are employed or their job role in order to deduce what information about their career could be useful to you.

Furthermore, make sure your meeting area is suitable for a professional discussion i.e. quiet, without people interrupting

Have a think about what it is you want to ask. If you’re not quite sure what it is you want to find out, but would like to exploratory chat with an expert in the industry then say just that!

However, these are some good questions to think about asking:

  • What experiences did you have before getting your first job? How did you go about getting these?
  • What did you do immediately after leaving University?
  • What’s the best advice you would give to someone after graduating/finishing their degree?
  • Do you have any internships/graduate schemes/other programmes you would recommend me looking into?
  • What skills do you think have propelled you into your career? How did you learn those skills?
  • How did you decide on pursuing you career?
  • Can you talk me through your career path and how you got into doing what you do?
  • What would you say an employer is looking for in this field?
  • What can I do to give me an edge over other candidates?
  • Do you have any tips or advice for people trying to go into my sector of work?
  • What does a typical day in your current job look like?

 

What each Mini-Mentor can offer is individual to them and the time they are able to devote to the Mini-Mentorship.

All Mini-Mentors are open to chat via their preferred method; however, these are some additional things you could ask of them:

  • a CV/job application review
  • interview tips and practice
  • information about internships/opportunities that are available

Time is precious for you both, so communicate clearly what you both expect from each other and what you can realistically offer each other

Treat the relationship as you would any other professional relationship. Follow up on communications and action points. Let them know respectfully and sensitively if for any reason you no longer require their help.

As with any professional relationship, be sensible and take precautions for communications and meeting up with someone you don’t know.

Stay in touch and keep the Alumni Office informed of your progress.

Provide us with feedback about your experience so we can improve the programme.

Send in another request, if you’d like to speak to any further alumni mentors.

For any questions, you can contact the Development Office on development.office@magd.ox.ac.uk