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The University of Southampton
Careers, Employability and Student Enterprise

Career Mentoring Programme

Creating New Connections

Do you want to inspire others by passing on your unique experience, career knowledge and expertise? The Career Mentoring Programme gives you the opportunity to support our students and recent graduates through their transition from study into graduate employment.

Mentoring creates fantastic opportunities to share relevant and up to date career sector or employability-focused advice and help. We are looking to recruit mentors from all different industries and walks of life to support our students.

If you can offer information, advice and support on any of the themes below, you are the type of mentor we are looking for.

Business etiquette Commercial awareness Communication
Confidence CVs and applications Interviews
Leadership Motivation Negotiation and persuasion
Networking Organisation Problem solving
Public speaking Resilience Sector knowledge
Self-awareness Self-management Time management

We also offer Enterprise and Diversity Mentoring within our mentoring programme. Please see the ‘Enterprise/Diversity Mentoring' tab below for further details. You can see below our video which highlights the benefits of becoming a mentor through our Career Mentoring Programme from mentors who took part in the 2022/23 programme.

As a mentor you get to learn as much as your mentee. You get to fill a gap which no other provision in their lives has ever provided for. In short, as long as you are prepared to listen as much as you speak, you are always going to be useful.

Career Mentoring is an excellent way for you and your mentee to both learn and develop key mentoring skills. Mentoring is a very valuable skill in the workplace and increasingly valued by employers.

As a mentor you can:

  • Develop key transferable and employability skills to support your own professional skills base
  • Increase exposure for your organisation
  • Gain access to networks and contacts within the University
  • Unlock and discover fresh talent
  • Have the opportunity to give something back, particularly for University of Southampton alumni

A number of organisations have successfully recruited previous mentees on our programme to internships and graduate level job opportunities that they have. It is important to emphasise however, that it is not a requirement of the Career Mentoring Programme that you have such opportunities to offer your mentees.

Benefits to Organisations:

We are happy for organisations to encourage several staff to take part as mentors. Some organisations utilise our programme to help raise their profile on campus whilst benefiting from personal professional development.

It can also be a great opportunity to show students the various roles and departments within your organisation.

Our programme opens for applications from students from September to January. This is to allow the maximum time for our mentoring relationships to become established and take place over the academic year.

Both mentee and mentor training take place between October – February. As soon as our individual mentors and mentees have received training we can start matching you together. If you have already attended a training session you do not need to attend another, however, you are welcome to attend if you would find a refresher helpful.

Once you are matched you can arrange to start working with your mentee. This typically lasts one academic year, however some mentors and mentees choose to continue for a second year. The number of times you meet is determined between you and your mentee once you start, however we would recommend you have contact at least four times throughout the academic year, of which a minimum of two contacts should be either face-to-face or video calls.

To find out more about what is involved in participating in the Career Mentoring Programme, including frequently asked questions, read our Mentor Handbook.

You may also find it helpful to keep track of your mentoring meetings and actions by downloading our Mentoring Progress Log Sheet.

The University calendar is slightly different to the calendar year. You may find it helpful to familiarise yourself with key dates such as semesters, exams and vacations.

Our dedicated Career Mentoring Team will support you through the training, matching process and the mentoring relationship.

We recruit mentors all year round, if you want to get involved, please click ‘Apply now'.

Within the Career Mentoring Programme, we also offer two additional pathways:

Enterprise Mentoring

Do you have entrepreneurial skills? Could you offer support to a student who would like to set up their own business? If so, you can sign up to be an Enterprise Mentor to provide specialist advice to students who are interested in self-employment and enterprise.

Diversity Mentoring

Do you have personal experience that could support students from one or more of the following groups?

  • Ethnic Minority Groups
  • Care Leaver
  • Disability
  • First person in family to go to university
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans (LGBTQIA+)
  • Women

If so, you can sign up to be a Diversity Mentor alongside the wider mentoring offer.

To become a Career Mentor you will need to complete the application form and attend a training session.

1. Online application form:

Apply by clicking the button below and click ‘Register’ to access the application form.

Once you have submitted the form you will receive confirmation of your application within 3 working days. You will then be able to log in to MyCareer to book on to a training session.

You can apply to become a mentor at any time throughout the year. Mentor matching runs from October – February, with training for mentees and mentors also completed between October – February.

If you apply to be a mentor after January, please be aware that you may not be able to mentor a student until the next academic year.

2. Training sessions:

We think it is important that both mentors and mentees complete training. It acts as an introduction to our programme and it is a good opportunity for you to meet the Career Mentoring Team and some of your fellow mentors.

The programme for academic year 2023/24 is now underway and we will therefore not be running any training sessions until the Autumn term for the programme running in 2024/25.

Training sessions will run from October to February in the 2024/25 academic year.  Once confirmed, further details will be sent to all new mentors who apply.  


If you would like to find out more about mentoring, please contact us:


Mentoring Coordinator: Laura Smith

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