The UCL Alumni Online Community is a global network of former students of UCL, providing you with a dynamic and supportive platform to stay engaged with UCL’s work and expand your professional networks, wherever you are in the world. The Community offers a wealth of interesting opportunities for alumni to get involved with the work of UCL, including a number of professional development services such as the mentoring programme.
Whether you’re a current student, recent graduate or more experienced professional, the mentoring scheme is free and accessible online. Any UCL alumni worldwide can sign up to be either a mentor or a mentee, and there are already 1350 mentors signed up to the programme. For mentees, the scheme provides the opportunity to make connections, learn new skills and gain some excellent career advice from experienced alumni spanning a wide range of professions. For mentors, signing up as a mentor can be a fantastic way to reconnect with UCL and volunteer your time to support the development of the next generation of professionals.
Many highly successful individuals will have been mentored at some point in their career and, for mentees like MSc Environmental and Sustainable Development student, Esme Stallard, registering to be mentored offers the chance to gain an inside track on particular sectors and advice roles of interest. “I struggled with getting past the assessment centre stage for internships and jobs so wanted some industry insight into what employers are looking for. I was able to set up a phone call with my mentor and received some great tips as to what employers want from situational questions – this has since enabled me to secure a job with a leading company. The online element of the scheme enabled me to reach out to a mentor quickly and easily, as well as searching for the most appropriate person for my needs.”
And, for mentors, the scheme presents an interesting opportunity to give something back to current students and other alumni. UCL alumna Miriam Maya is currently a Director at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and first became involved in the scheme whilst working as an International Ambassador at UCL’s Institute of Education. “Being a mentor has allowed me to be a resource to current students. I have been able to share my personal experience while a student in London, as well as my career path. I have also benefited from being able to connect and network with other alumni.”
For Hong Kong-based alumni, Kevin Angelini, acting as a mentor has also had a positive impact on his own career development. “Coaching and guiding future talents is a very rewarding experience. Graduates and students have many fresh ideas and it’s always great to be in touch with these issues.”
As London’s Global University, the online element of the scheme is one of its key advantages and enables both mentors and mentees to benefit from the programme, regardless of location. As Miriam explains, “the online element provides easy, constant access to a large network of alumni from various programmes and countries. Rather than being limited to alumni from one college, country or programme of study, I am easily able to log on and search for alumni or opportunities that are of interest to me.”
Mentoring through UCL can be a fantastic and rewarding experience for both mentors and mentees. The advice that Esme would give to fellow prospective mentees is clear, “don’t hesitate, you have nothing to lose. At worst you’ll get some friendly advice and at best you’ll secure yourself a job.”
To find out more about opportunities available with the UCL Alumni Careers Mentoring Network, and to sign up to participate, please visit the UCL Alumni Online Community.
You can find out more about the AOC, mentoring and other alumni opportunities in our special alumni lounge at the It’s All Academic Festival on Saturday 10 June. For more details please visit our Festival website.