Mentors Needed for Alumni Mentoring Programme
The School’s Alumni Mentoring Programme is now entering its third year and we are once again looking to our Alumni to help us make it a success. This initiative, commencing in June & September 2018, is designed to support Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Nursing graduates as they embark on their careers.
The Programme aims to link new graduates with working professionals of 3 to 10 years standing (approximately) who are able to offer support and advice in terms of personal, professional and career development. Mentors and Mentees will be matched based on information provided by alumni and students at the time of registration.
Please see Alumni Mentoring Programme Information [PDF] for details on the benefits of mentoring, the time commitment involved, support for mentors and our feedback processes.
CVE points are available to mentors and mentees taking part in the Alumni Mentoring Programme; 4 CVE points are available to each participant.
Programme Development & the Mentor-Mentee Experience
An important aspect of programme development has been gathering feedback from mentors and mentees over the last two years; the feedback helps us to review and revise the programme as needed, whilst also giving us a useful snapshot of some of the issues facing our new graduates. Overall, participation in the programme has proven to be a very positive experience for both mentors and mentees. Mentors see the programme as being ‘a great, beneficial programme,’ and they have particularly enjoyed being paired with mentees interested in the same field so that they can share their experiences and get the new graduate’s perspective on their area.
Whilst the mentee benefits from accessing their mentor’s knowledge and experience, the mentor also benefits from the interactions, with one mentor commenting: ‘I really enjoy being able to provide support and share wisdom gained through my own experiences during the transition from student to professional…’ Mentors have also seen tangible benefits to their mentees over the course of the Programme, with many acknowledging the sense of accomplishment that both felt from helping their mentee set and achieve goals as the Programme progressed.
The majority of mentees encountered ‘some small issues’ and their mentors could see that they found it helpful to be able to ‘talk these through’ with them. Areas where mentees needed support included: anxiety over performing their job to the required standard, moving abroad, stress and dealing with it, confidence, work life balance, difficulties making decisions quickly enough, feeling overwhelmed and unsupported. The role of the mentor in most situations has been to offer reassurance, and the mentees have noted that ‘just having someone to chat to’ makes all the difference. The programme was aptly described by one mentor as ‘a good source of support during a really stressful and exhausting time in a new grad's life. An unbiased outlet and source of knowledge which I think helps.’
Mentees are asked to initiate communications with their mentor initially and to drive the mentoring relationship, however our feedback shows that being pro-active on both sides is key: ‘It’s been working really well so far, however a lot of that is because both my mentee and myself have been very pro-active.’ Both mentor and mentee can really benefit from the programme, especially when there’s engagement on both sides and a focus on effective two-way communications.
Mentors are invited to a Training & Information session on Wednesday 28 March from 6pm to 7.30pm in the Veterinary Sciences Centre, UCD. This session will include information on the Programme and what mentoring entails, and will also include a presentation by Dr Aoibhinn McDonnell. A UCD graduate, Aoibhinn has a strong interest in mentoring and working with younger colleagues and in sharing her journey from Veterinary Medicine to Human Health, and also her own experience of the multiple uses of a Veterinary Medicine qualification. Read more here: http://www.ucd.ie/vetmed/about/alumni/
Training resources and presentations from the above session will be made available online to all mentors prior to programme commencement.
To register for the Programme, please complete the Google form at the link below. Please also indicate if you intend to come to the training session on 28 March.
We look forward to working with you on what we hope will be a beneficial and positive experience for both you and our new graduates.
Should you have questions on any aspect of the UCD SVM Alumni Mentoring Programme, please do not hesitate to get in touch:
Dr Helen Graham | Communications Manager | email@example.com