Mentorship feedback - mentees
Quotes from mentees of their experience of the SAPC mentorship programme
"I wanted to give a huge thanks to Prof Joanne Reeve. I found her name on the SAPC mentor page about 4 years ago. I was a first 5 looking to start my academic career but due to family reasons was living and working between the north and south of England.
Joanne was incredibly supportive of me continuing to put my family first but also starting my career. She signposted me to roles, and further academic training posts and gave me the confidence to pursue them.
I feel extremely lucky to have found her on this mentor page, such a wonderful, warm and encouraging mentor. I hope one day I can pay it forward."
"It has been invaluable for me – I’ve had a good relationship with my mentor who has understood my needs well. I’ve been through a lot of changes in the past 2 years- having a baby and changing employer, and my mentor’s support has been crucial."
"I have been very pleased with the way that the mentoring scheme went and I feel that I benefited greatly from being able to discuss work and career-related issues with someone who was not directly involved in my work and had no detailed knowledge of it. Explaining issues in our discussions to someone who may have known little about the way that my particular department operates was useful in itself as I was obliged to think through the root of particular issues and their potential solutions.
Since starting the mentorship scheme, I have changed my job role and am certain that I would not have applied for my current role if we had not had our mentorship sessions. The advice received was always dispassionate, well-considered and very constructive, and as such I found it incredibly helpful. It encouraged me to look at things in a different way and helped me to be able to take a more objective perspective on my achievements, career development options and future plans.
I couldn’t be happier with the quality of mentorship I received and with the way that this was all organised centrally by SAPC."
"I have found the pairing has worked really well in terms of my mentor's experience and skills relative to my goals and aims for the relationship. I think we've managed to set out some good ground rules which has really helped.
The most difficult part has been the geography, and the fact that both of us are quite busy, so finding a time and place to meet in person has been challenging. We've mitigated this with meeting by phone / Skype, but it's definitely worth meeting in person as well, even if it's tricky to arrange.
I think it would be a good idea to encourage mentees to prepare a set of goals / aims for the mentoring and/or a proposed agenda for the meeting. For me, that really helped us to keep on track, and to prioritize the discussion."
"My mentor is lovely and had really given time to me and helped me to think through my workload and which areas to prioritise. We chat a bit about our lives generally and moan a little about our respect depts and the challenges of the work but she is very generous and mainly lets me focus on my most pressing issues.
It has all gone very well. I did wonder though if it might be possible also within the mentor relationship to critically examine some of my papers and for example, think about my theoretical concepts but to be honest I havent asked yet if this is possible so it might be."
"Opportunity to select mentor was good and reasonable about of detail was given about prospective mentors, from which there were a number to choose.
Useful information for the first meeting about setting expectations and discussing these.
Flexibility in scheme for mentees and mentors to work out how best to arrange mentoring."
"Having a mentor external to my University has been a fantastic resource for career crises, impartial advice, and general hand-holding. I’ve been able to honestly express my anxieties and problems without worrying it is impacting on Departmental politics or career progression. I’ve felt it has extended my network of contacts and given me different insights into how other Departments work. Most of all, it’s been great knowing I have a friendly face to call on with a variety of queries from promotion to how to prioritise workload."
"Two very useful conversations with my mentor which helped me develop my vision for my career and contributed to me successfully winning a mid-career CAPC fellowship."
"The session was very inspiring and uplifting. My mentor impressed me greatly with the way she manged the first session and the way I could see that together we could pin point some areas to work on that would be of direct value to me in my short, medium, and long term career.
The support from SAPC in setting up and facilitating this mentoring relationship has been very good and much appreciated."
"Meeting a mentor, where you can just for a while talk about yourself in your work situation, without having to explain the context, as they already understand that, and don’t have to be worried it will be taken wrong or be shared, is such a luxury, I can only recommend it to everyone who is considering this. Just by talking to an outsider with insider knowledge, helps to crystalise my own thoughts and, with their help and guidance, decide on the next steps to take.