QMU is top for mentoring students
Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh has just won an award for its highly successful student career mentoring project. QMU’s Employer Mentoring Programme has been awarded The Scottish Mentoring Network Education Project of the Year Award 2016. The awards are designed to give recognition to mentoring projects that have made a significant impact over the past year.
Juan Garcia, Employability & Development Adviser at QMU, started the mentoring project in 2013 with the aim of increasing student confidence, preparing mentees well for the world of work and developing excellent industry links and job opportunities.
Over the past three years 160 pairings of students with mentors have been made. Through the project, committed and enthusiastic students are given the opportunity to meet with an experienced individual from a relevant sector, who is willing to offer their time, advice and inside knowledge surrounding the world of work.
This award recognised the way the project has helped individual students in the transition from university to life after graduation. The judging panel was also impressed that the introduction of the mentoring scheme had helped to foster a mentoring culture within Queen Margaret University which encouraged senior students to mentor junior students, and where further development of initial mentoring projects was encouraged.
Juan Garcia explained: “We are really proud of what has been achieved with our mentoring scheme in a relatively short period of time. We are particularly pleased that the Scottish Mentoring Network has recognised the work that we are doing in enhancing students’ employability and allowing them to develop skills which will help direct their careers and achieve their goals.”
QMU’s mentoring scheme is distinctive from other university mentoring schemes in that is it particularly student driven and internationally recognised. A QMU intern supports the initiative and communicates programme details with the students. Students are also able to apply for specific mentors, rather than being allocated mentors. Erin Donnelly is QMU’s current programme intern and was a mentee last year. She said: “I found the mentoring programme to be immensely helpful and am eager to allow others to gain from such an opportunity.”
Cody Edwards joined the mentoring scheme in 2015 and has continued to reap the benefits of the programme a year after graduating. He explained: “My mentor was the Press and PR Officer from QMU’s Communications team and he provided me with outstanding support during my final year of University. Following my graduation, he continually looked for opportunities for me and, with his recurrent advice and support, I was able to secure full time employment with one of Scotland’s leading PR agencies. I don’t think I’d be where I am today without the help and guidance of my mentor and I’m extremely grateful for it.”