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The Mentorship Programme connects alumni to students

A new mentorship programme began in October 2019 with more than 100 participants. The purpose of the programme is to connect alumni and students to exchange inspirations and experiences.

As part of the the programme two workshops were conducted, one for mentors and one for students. A mentoring expert led the workshops in order to help the participants get as much as possible out of the programme. Engagement, openness and communication were a few factors that both groups highlighted during their workshops.
Naomi Terry is studying for a Master’s degree in Social Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development. She’s been matched with Johanna Källén Fox, who completed the same Master’s programme in 2014.
– I hope to get new perspectives on my possibilities after my studies, Naomi Terry says. To have someone to talk to and to brainstorm with. There has been times in my life where I would have appreciated having a mentor, so I look forward to having that possibility now.


Unexpected use of knowledge

Johanna Källén Fox is hoping to be able to support Naomi according to Naomi’s needs, and mentions her experience after her studies.
– I didn’t really know how to promote myself in a job interview. I hope to be able to help Naomi to apply what she’s learned in other areas than academics. I myself have made use of knowledge from my studies in situations where I didn’t anticipate they would be useful. 
Naomi Terry doesn’t know yet if she wants to get into research or find a job outside of the university after she graduated.
– I don’t really know which path to go down, but I don’t worry about the future. I enjoy studying at the moment, but I probably won’t stay at the university. I want to make use of what I’ve learned and be faithful to my values.
They hope to be able to be open with each other and to share thoughts and experiences. But also, talk about the differences in how they view things. 
– Sometimes the differences are the most interesting, Johanna Källén Fox says.


Collaboration between administration and departments

Birgitta Åkerman is a study counsellor at the Department of Biology Education and has matched students with alumni. 
– I asked twenty alumni and eleven said yes. They were really happy about it. The students were a bit harder, they don’t always realize their own good, she says.
Birgitta says that the support from the central alumni team has been crucial for setting up a mentorship programme.
– It is totally necessary having someone coordinating this. They have created a framework for us to fill with content. We have gotten a lot of support on how to go ahead with everything. Everything from how to put things into words, to how to structure the project. I think it’s a perfect example of collaboration between the University administration and the departments. It makes it possible for us to do something we believe is so important, but never have the time for. It’s lovely to see.


The Mentorship Programme in brief

  • The alumni team at Student Services created a project plan and guidelines for the programme. They also arranged all of the events. 
  • The departments recruited and paired the students to alumni.
  • The programme started October 2019 and ends May 2020.
  • Eight departments with a total of about 50 matched alum-student pairs are participating.
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