Kingston University

Developing a Mentor Programme for Kingston University

Kingston University has one of the most diverse student populations in the UK. The institution has run mentor programmes before, but in 2015 KUTalent (the university’s careers service) wanted to run a programme specifically aimed at BAEM students, first generation university students, those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds and students with disabilities. Gradconsult were privileged to be tasked with collaborating with the KU Talent team to grow and develop the existing mentor programme.

Key successes:

  • Design of the mentoring scheme process and set up of online matching software
  • Very well attended launch event with over 60 mentors and mentees in attendance
  • Around 140 active participants involved
  • Design and delivery of online training materials and events

The challenge:

Kingston University has undertaken many mentoring schemes before, however this is the first scheme that has an employability focus has been targeted at particular groups of students: final year BAEM students, those with disabilities, those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds and first generation students going to university.

The reason for the mentor scheme is to help bridge the gap between university and the world of work, resulting in, more job-ready graduates and an increase in employment rates.

How the challenge was met:

  • Mentor training (particularly around professionalism, cultural awareness and obligations to provide mentees with at least two employment exposure opportunities)
  • Mentee training (stressing the importance of meeting mentee obligations, communication and building mentor relationships)

A programme plan that includes:

  • An event to launch the programme with both mentors and mentees
  • Specific mentor matching and monitoring software
  • A focus on career development throughout the programme
  • Opportunities for mentors and mentees to network during the mentor programme
  • A communication plan using relevant media
  • An end of programme event / celebration
  • Materials to facilitate mentor / mentee interactions