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The Mentee Experience

What our mentees say

eMentoring Scheme

A former mentee on the Career eMentoring Scheme, Catalina Cepeda Pena, shares her experience: 

'I had the great opportunity of joining the University’s Careers eMentor scheme, an eight-week online mentoring programme where I interacted and learned from a Leeds alumnus working in the Marketing and Advertising industry.' Read the full blog here.

Other students mentored on the eMentoring scheme told us:

'I really liked my mentor. She was very helpful and went out of her way to help me. She taught me to focus on my strengths and the skills I already have, and how to display them to the best potential.’

'The scheme has been really useful for me and I have enjoyed being able to chat openly with someone who not only works in a field I am now very interested in, but also an ex-student who has been able to help me with issues this term.’

Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme

Harry took part in the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme during his final year in 2018/19, mentored by Peter McAteer (CEO of Sysmax). 

Why I applied for a Mentor - Networking and making links in the industry is really important. It’s really helpful to get advice from an alum who has been in the same position as you and gone on to be successful. 

It was my first time [speaking to a mentor]. I was very nervous beforehand! But meeting Peter was very informal, and we got on well from the beginning. I didn’t use LinkedIn before the mentoring programme, so Peter helped me connect on there and we communicated via LinkedIn; I followed the company and made more connections and this enabled me to speak to more professionals, as well as meeting people through work placements. 

I was the first generation in my family to go to university and didn’t know anyone working in corporate roles, CEOs, etc., so getting in touch with Peter was scary – but brilliant, and gave me more confidence. 

The main benefits from having a Mentor - Peter was so knowledgeable and it was great to be able to pick his brain, and learn about the state of the industry. As well as the industrial knowledge, Peter helped me with a personal development plan, including focusing on my goals and strengthening my ideas about the career I want. 

Harry Ford (Petroleum Engineering 2019, MEng Chemical Engineering 2020).

eMentoring Scheme 

Olivia was mentored by Ciaran Smilie (Territory Sales Manager) on the eMentoring Scheme in Semester 2, 2020/21.

I am a third year BSc Medical Science student with an interest in science communication. I have really enjoyed my degree, especially modules in science communications, scientific writing and food and nutrition. Studying medical science has made me realise I want a career that is related to biomedical or food science, but doing labs has made me realise that working in the lab is not for me. I also want to have a positive impact on people's lives through my job, and continue learning about science without going into post-graduate medicine. I mainly joined the mentoring scheme as I wanted to learn more about what non-lab related STEM jobs are out there, and I also wanted guidance on applications and CV writing.  

My mentor was a Territory Manager at the medical device company Olympus who graduated from my course at Leeds 3 years ago. We were paired up as his role requires communicating science to different people every day, which is something I mentioned being interested in when applying for the mentoring scheme. We organised weekly hour long meetings on Zoom and set a different agenda each week for our discussions. This was really useful as I could determine the topic each week, for example one week I had a job application due so we spent the session going through this together. My mentor had also previously worked in recruitment, which really helped when we spent a session going over my CV.  

The most useful aspect of the scheme is that I got a real insight into the life of a Territory Manager for a medical device company. I did not know this role existed until this mentoring scheme, and if I saw a job advert for this I would not have applied for the job as it is technically a sales role. Through the mentoring scheme I learnt how despite being a sales role, the job requires learning about medical devices, the regulations of medical device development and also travelling to different clinical settings to discuss how the medical devices work and explaining the scientific background of the devices to clinicians.  

After the mentoring scheme, I now have a much clearer idea of what career I want and I have applied for a job as an Associate Territory Manager at a medical device company. I feel I am much more prepared when applying to jobs as I have a strong CV, and have learnt how to write strong job applications through the scheme. My mentor and I are also still in touch, and any jobs I apply for or interviews I have, I still text him and he helps me even though the mentoring scheme is over. Having my mentor as a contact is also very useful in terms of my career progression within the medical device field, and it is really valuable to have on my CV that I took part in the mentoring scheme as it shows I have knowledge of the job role when I apply for jobs in the field. I would definitely recommend the mentoring scheme to anyone who is considering it, whether you know what career you would like to pursue or not.  

Olivia Oldroyd (BSc Medical Sciences, 2021) 

If you are considering applying for a mentor to support your career ambitions, you can find out more about our schemes by visiting the mentoring homepage.