The best academic institutions, companies and careers
We have created a network that allows for EVERYONE TO WIN and a key part of our vision is for our members not just to help their fellow members, but also the rest of the wider world around them. Our access programmes with regards to University applications, careers and mentorship are a key part of this.
We recognise that there is a problem with regards to access to the best academic institutions, companies and careers as the most deserving and talented people are often not able to break into these areas. There are huge amounts of very able and ambitious young people with huge potential who unfortunately miss out through a wide range of differing reasons, from lack of information and guidance, to a lack of tactical advice or tips for best preparation to limited of financial funding and beyond. We want to give these people the best possible shot and improve their odds. It is not random and does not have to be a lottery. We ask all our members to become mentors and to share their advice, knowledge and recommendations with regards to University applications, careers and job and internship applications and life overall.
On the Society and Campus Organisations side of things we encourage our member societies to increase their commitment towards inspiring the next generation of students who might one day even become part of their societies. As part of this our members are advised to invite secondary school students to attend their events and host at least one access focused event each year with local schools.
We have been fortunate enough to have had very positive experiences on both sides of the mentor and mentee relationship and when it works it can add incredible value and really help your career and life (there are some great role models we look up to who have been able to guide us).
Since each mentoring relationship is so unique and since it is a very different, special kind of relationship it is difficult to generalise. However, there are several key tips we would recommend, of which the most important is to be honest and open. People can often make the mistake of being intimidated by a mentor and too scared to be open about their own issues and what they really want to get help with as they are too eager to impress. Remember a good mentor can empathise and was in your position once and so they can display useful understanding, even about the less positive things. It is also important to note that the only way that mentors can know how they’re doing in terms of adding value is if mentees tell them.
Secondly, abandon the ego as too many mentees look for mentors as a source of validation, rather than actual knowledge. The point of a mentor is to challenge you to become better rather than to tell you how great you are. The famous Disraeli quote, ‘the greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own’, is particularly appropriate as good mentors want to help you to develop. You should seek to learn from their experiences and mistakes. Thirdly, do not be afraid or too shy to ask for help, introductions etc. that might be helpful. Good mentors are usually keen to help out but if you do not ask them they cannot. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Finally, it is important to manage expectations as no matter how good the mentor is you should not expect them to waive a magic wand and automatically solve any problems. When given advice or constructive criticism you need to take it on board and act on it rather than expecting to be spoon-fed or have your hand held. The onus is on you to put it into practice at the end of the day! At the same time as this you do not always need a formal mentor at different points of your life and career and you can always turn to other more informal role models, sources of advice or people you look up to and trust. A mentoring relationship should not feel forced or unnatural and remember that no matter how much in awe you are of your mentor, he or she is still a human being like you are!
If you are looking to receive mentorship get in touch with us today by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org with some details about yourself. We will connect you with one of our mentors (ideally will try to match you up with someone near you or from the same country, with similar shared interests or backgrounds etc!) who will be happy to help!