Case studies

Interested in joining the mentoring programme? These case studies illustrate how you could benefit from this programme.

Cynthia Lee - Marketing Cynthia Lee  

I joined the Lancaster Mentoring programme in my final University year in 2012/13 and I have to admit, that I didn't really have the biggest idea what this would mean for me. I know at University that you are spoilt for choice when choosing what to commit yourself to and you have to wonder how relevant and beneficial a programme such as the Mentoring programme would be. Having gone through the programme, I can honestly say it was one of the best things I'd participated in. What makes the mentoring programme really unique is that it is all tailored around you.

During my mentoring year, I was able to feel like somebody was always rooting for me. Looking for graduate jobs is a scary thing and it was a huge relief to talk it through with my mentor and feel like somebody had my back. Further to this, when I was deciding on a marketing route, my mentor was able to set up phone discussions with people in his network so I could truly understand what the differences are between brand management or market research. I was able to participate in some invaluable work experience which ignited some real interest and opened my eyes to marketing in the pharma/healthcare industry. 

As a direct result of the Mentoring programme and the continued hard work of my mentor, I was able to secure a market research graduate job in the pharma/healthcare industry and I couldn't be happier. Coming out of University and into the work place, I've come to realise how unique this programme is to Lancaster and it would be a real shame to miss this opportunity. There's a whole lot to gain, and nothing to lose.  

Grant Helm – Politics & International Relations Grant Helm

I signed up to the mentoring scheme with the primary goal of enhancing my chances of being accepted onto the Civil Service summer programme. This meant improving my CV, my ability to take online tests and my ability to answer competency based interview questions. Due to the logistical side of things there was little scheduled face to face time with the mentees, however this was made up for by my mentor’s willingness to discuss issues over the phone, Skype or by email.

This allowed for significantly more progress to be made than I had expected. There were several opportunities to enhance the experience, such as a trip to London which my mentor organised. This consisted of spending one to one time putting together applications and also coming together as a group of mentees to discuss progress and bounce ideas off of one another, this proved invaluable as the application that we put the most time into has been the one I have been successful with. I feel that the fact that my mentor’s past experience matches my career goals so well has been key in making the system a very effective one.

The programme has helped me greatly in achieving my goal of gaining a place on the civil service scheme, but it has also given me some great contacts and I feel that the level of commitment shown by my mentor means that there is still much I can and will gain from the programme.

John Lacey – Philosophy, Politics & Economics John Lacey

The Mentoring Scheme initially stood out to me as an opportunity to gain invaluable guidance regarding aspects of employment such as CV and cover letter writing, but I soon became aware of just how much more it has to offer. To those students who are eager to improve their employability, the scheme provides you with a personal and tailored approach to your career aspirations that comes directly from a mentor who has proven success within their field.

My mentoring experience gained pace from the beginning which I was extremely pleased about, allowing me to combat issues effectively from the start, without wasting any time. The relationship and frequent communication I have with my mentor is fantastic and I have not only gained the advice I initially set out to acquire when I signed up, but we have also discussed and made great steps towards the career that I now know I want to strive for. Interview techniques, application forms and job specific criteria are just some of the extra areas that we have also tackled during the programme.

This is an amazing opportunity to further your employability skills and career knowledge, alongside meeting a great bunch of other mentees and of course, your expert mentor. Students have nothing to lose, but everything to gain from this programme! 

Olivia Henry – German Studies & History Olivia Henry

I signed up to the 2013/14 mentoring programme and I have found it to be an absolutely invaluable experience. When I signed up to the programme I saw it as an excellent opportunity to gain insight into my chosen career industry but I have gained far more insight than I ever thought I would.

Personally, the best thing I gained from the programme was that I received significant help with my CV. Before I began the programme, since I have very little experience in the job market, I was unsure on the mechanics of having a successful CV and thus my CV was rather poor.

Now, thanks to my mentor, my CV has significantly improved. My mentor personally went over my entire CV, not only the content but presentation. When I compare the CV I had at the start of the programme to the CV I have now they are incomparable, that in itself made the programme a worthwhile scheme. Additionally, my mentor was available for contact at all times via email and Skype, in which I received significant help with an internship application and I have learned skills which I can take away and use in future applications.

I feel that thanks to the mentoring programme, I am far more prepared for the job market then I would have been had I not signed up and I feel more confident that the industry I originally wanted to get into is the one for me. I would highly recommend the mentoring programme to other students and encourage them to take advantage of the skills their mentors possess. 

Ghalia Khan – Marketing Management Ghalia Khan 

Keen to progress professionally, I took on a business mentor to help guide me through my early career and this helped me to put my academic knowledge to practical use.  At the end of first year I really needed help in deciding what to do with my life and someone to help me with the process of applying for placements to do during my third year out of university, hence my application to the mentoring scheme.

The mentor I was assigned, Dave, helped me massively during the job application process, including helping me completely re-design my CV! He offered me advice with the assessment centre process, and always reminded me he was an email away if I needed help with anything, and still says that even with our mentor relationship being over for 2 years now! The mentoring programme helped me obtain my placement with Johnson & Johnson in 2013 and also has made me appreciate mentors in a workplace and seek them out to help to develop my skills further.

The scheme is different for everyone, as it is defined by you, and what you want to get out of it! It is a really flexible programme that is centred around you and your mentor, and your schedules, hence why every relationship is different. I saw my mentor around once a month during our time, yet I contacted him throughout the year whenever I needed anything, and vice versa. We met informally as it helped to develop a natural rapport where we could talk freely and get the most out of the scheme, as well as in formal environments where we could meet with other mentors and mentees.

 I really enjoyed my year with my mentor and highly recommend anyone to this scheme. Regardless of where you are in life, I think a mentor is a great opportunity to talk things through with someone who has been there before. They can offer real world insight and can be a good friend to have during stressful times at university! I love how Lancaster is one of the only universities to offer an innovative scheme like this, and really appreciate the opportunity I was given.