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Queen Margaret University launches 2015-16 Employer Mentoring Programme

Posted: 19th August 2015

Could your business mentor a QMU student?

Mentoring (44 of 77)
(L-R) Sian Downes (Mentor, QMU graduate & Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Event Manager), Professor Petra Wend (QMU Principal and Vice Chancellor) and Joanne Mitchell (QMU Event Management student and mentee)

Joanne Mitchell – BA (Hons) Event Management

Final year BA (Hons) Events Management student, Joanne Mitchell, was looking for professional guidance outside her academic studies that would give her more insight into to her chosen profession.

QMU’s Careers & Employability team matched Joanne with events professional and former QMU student, Sian Downes, who gave her one-to-one mentoring advice and guidance on everything from networking and developing her CV, to interview preparation skills and applying for summer internships.

Commenting on her experience of the QMU Employer Mentoring Programme, Joanne said: “The Programme offered me a tailored and personal career development experience that was unique to me. I felt that QMU’s Careers & Employability team really cared and took interest in what I was seeking to achieve from the Programme, including increasing my chances of employability, new experiences, increasing my knowledge of the sector and developing my transferrable skills.

“The Programme team also found me the best suited mentor for my area of study and what I was looking to gain from the experience.

“Every student should seek the opportunity to get their own mentor. It’s a great experience which is extremely valuable for future career development.”

Joanne’s mentor, Sian Downes, is currently an Event Manager at Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce. Sian said: “Having been a QMU Event Management student myself, I felt I could help a current student based on my own experiences and offer advice on their professional development from student level into to the world of work.

“Joanne and I hit it off right from the start. We discussed a range of topics from LinkedIn to building a network, to eventually helping her secure a job.

“The Programme has also helped my own personal development as a people manager and not just an event manager.”

Since taking part in the QMU Employer Mentoring Programme, Joanne secured an internship with Highland Hospice Inverness as an events and marketing assistant. In this role, Joanne has taken the lead in managing a high profile event for the fundraising organisation. There is also the potential for Joanne’s position to be extended beyond her internship period.

QMU’s Careers & Employability team is now recruiting for new mentors to take part in the 2015-16 QMU Employer Mentoring Programme. For more information and to sign up, visit, contact Juan Garcia, Employability & Development Adviser, E:  or call 0131 474 0000.

WATCH our QMU Employer Mentoring Programme film here:

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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