Mentoring programme is a two-way street of learning

Published: 4 June 2010 at 12:29

Both mentors and mentees feel benefits of annual programme

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Anglia Ruskin University’s annual Mentoring Awards ceremony has taken place at the University’s East Road campus in Cambridge to mark the successful conclusion of the 2009-2010 Employer Mentoring Scheme.

The scheme, which attracted 56 business participants in this its seventh year, is designed to match students at university with individuals in a relevant job, who make a commitment to help them gain an understanding of their work environment, its culture, its expectations, its demands and even its frustrations. 

During the celebratory event, the participating students and their employer mentors received certificates from the Mayor of Cambridge, Councillor Sheila Stuart, to acknowledge their contribution to the scheme which has seen them working together in a mentoring relationship for a period of six months. 

Employers nationally identify the lack of business awareness among graduates as being a significant barrier to progress.  Addressing this key concern, Anglia Ruskin University’s Employer Mentoring Scheme has been developed as a targeted program, giving individual students support and mentoring from a graduate or professional from local organisations. On a one-to-one basis, these mentors are invaluable in encouraging and helping the coming generation of our graduates to understand, evaluate and enhance their personal skills and business awareness.

The region's participating employers include Cambridge University Press, Domino UK Ltd,  Arm, Ridgeons, IFF(GB), Stafford & Co Chartered Accountants, Cambridge to Africa, PI Consulting, Barclays Corporate, Eversheds, Thales UK, TWCLaw, Mws Consulting, Prospects Research,  East Cambs District Council, Cambridge City Council, Cambridge Constabulary, Cambridge County Council and a range of other organisations including Addenbrookes and Orchard Recording Studio.

All participants benefit at the outset from an Anglia Ruskin University introductory training session. More importantly, the mentoring experience and the University’s ongoing support develops the skills of participating staff, providing them with a valuable developmental opportunity. The scheme is highly regarded within the sector and has Home Office recognition.

In the words of Nichola Buchanan from Eversheds who has been a mentor on the programme for a number of years.

"I am so glad to be able to help undergraduate law students recognise their full potential and to be able to guide them in the right direction. This is something which I never had. On a personal level I gain a little more confidence every year and learn a lot more myself. Mentoring is very much a two way process."

A further benefit for employers is, of course, their access to motivated and enthusiastic students, potentially aiding with future recruitment. 

Many trained mentors returned to the scheme this year but more are invited for next year's programme. If you are an employer and would like to find out more about taking part, please call Katie Morris on 0845 196 2541 or email