Mentoring can be an incredibly rewarding way to volunteer your time; sharing your expertise with current students, and providing them with one-to-one guidance and advice.
There are currently two mentoring schemes running across the University;
The UAL Professional Mentoring programme supports both undergraduate students and recent graduates to make a living doing what they love.
The LCC Industry Mentoring Scheme supports postgraduate students from the College in their transition from education to industry.
Both schemes are voluntary, and they match students of all disciplines with industry professionals to support their development as they enter the creative industries.
We recently spoke to a current mentor, and two former mentees from the schemes to find out more about why they got involved, and how it’s benefited them.
Share your knowledge
Jordan Griffith (BA Journalism, 2019, LCC) felt lost after graduation, a familiar feeling to most recent graduates, until she read about the UAL Professional Mentoring Scheme. She thought it would be a chance ‘to get clarification on how to get into my field and how to navigate my field’.
International student Jaya Modi (BA and MA Graphic Design, LCC), joined the LCC Industry Mentoring Scheme for the same reason ‘I felt that the mentoring could potentially help me expand my knowledge about the industry, and hopefully help me network with some wonderful individuals’.
Support from UAL
Both mentoring schemes are run by dedicated members of staff, who ensure that everything runs smoothly, from the initial pairing up, to the building and maintaining of the relationship. Everyone is hand-matched.
Jaya recalls an initial competitiveness around getting paired up with people from well-known studios; but as soon as she met Jo ‘within minutes we clicked, and I knew I had been paired with the right person.’
Sila Isik has been a mentor on the UAL Professional Mentoring Scheme for the last 4 years, adds that throughout ‘all my mentoring sessions, the UAL team has always checked in to ask how everything is going, and sent supporting material to help us progress.’
Learn new skills
Mentoring isn’t just a one-way street; for Sila, there was the unexpected benefit of reverse mentoring;
I had the chance of learning from the students' fresh perspectives and different problem-solving skills, seeing the world through their eyes, which gave me the skills to easily communicate with people at different stages of their careers.
However, as Jaya points out, a successful mentor-mentee relationship takes an investment of time;
I think it was the honest and upfront acknowledgement of this investment that worked well for Jo [her mentor] and myself. The mixer night itself we made a list (we both love lists) wrote down our goals and came up with a timeline. We also shared what each of us wanted to gain from the experience - and made sure we upheld those expectations for each other.