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Mentoring at UCD

In line with UCD's 'Rising to the Future' strategy to ensure that every member of the community is enabled to achieve their full potential, 'Mentoring at UCD' provides opportunities for professional growth. This aligns with our reputation as an institution that places a high value on support and developing its people.

Take a look at this short video to learn about the three possible pathways to Mentoring at UCD available to employees.


You will find further information about mentoring and its benefits in the Mentoring at UCD brochure

Our Faculty Career Mentoring Flyer outlines upcoming sessions for UCD Academics intending to begin the process of applying for faculty promotion.

Getting started 

Whether you are accessing mentoring through Faculty Career Mentoring, through Individual Mentoring, or as part of a structured programme, the HR People and Organisation Development team offer a number of supports including training, materials and guidance for mentees, mentors and Schools/Units.  For more information see below.  

Step 1: Do a little self-reflection

“Knowing what you want out of mentoring is critical to getting what you want”
(David Clutterbuck)

Think about your motivation for the mentoring process. If you are clear yourself about what you want to achieve from it, this will make it easier for your mentor to be effective in their role. Reflect on any past experiences of mentoring you may have had – either as a mentor or a mentee. You will bring valuable learning from this to any new mentoring relationship.

Think about the kind of mentor you would like to have. Are you looking for someone to challenge you, test your assumptions, take on the role of a critical friend? Or would you prefer a mentor who will work with you to help you pinpoint strengths and weaknesses and assist you in clarifying what you want to achieve and why?

Start to consider areas such as trust, confidentiality and boundaries, as these are all intrinsic to the mentoring relationship. What are the skills you will need in this relationship? Are you prepared to be the one doing most of the talking, especially at the beginning?

Step 2: Attend training

Your mentee training will provide clarity on what you can expect from mentoring and will give you valuable resources for getting your relationship off to the best possible start. You can book your mentee training session here.

Step 3: Choose a mentor

When you are thinking about who to approach to be your mentor, return to the original question of your motivation for this process. Once you have worked out what you would like to achieve, this will make it easier for you to pinpoint who can possibly help you achieve it. A list of those mentors who have already been trained for the role can be viewed below, but we encourage you to reach out and approach someone who you feel may be a good fit, even though they may be new to mentoring. This ensures that the wider UCD community gains more trained mentors over time.

List of trained mentors

Choosing a mentor – some tips:

  • Look beyond any line management or reporting relationships – mentoring is often described as ‘offline’ help.
  • Look outside of your own School or Unit. This helps to ensure that the relationship keeps its developmental focus and avoids any potential conflict of interest or lack of objectivity on behalf of the mentor. It also gives you an opportunity to broaden your network and embrace new ideas and approaches.
  • Consider who you admire; who has had the type of career progression you would like for yourself; someone who has successes or qualities that you respect. Ask for advice from people in your areas, discuss it with your manager and/or Head of School or Unit.
  • Try not to choose someone who is too much like you.

Step 4: Arrange a ‘temperature check’ meeting

You may wish to suggest a meeting with your prospective mentor where you can chat about your motivation for seeking a mentor and your expectations for the process. If your mentor hasn’t attended training, this will be a good time to let them know about upcoming sessions available to them.

Step 5: Work with your mentor to establish a mentoring agreement

Once you have both been trained, the mentoring partnership can begin. The first important step is to draft a mentoring agreement together. You’ll be given lots of guidance on how to approach this at your training session.

Step 1: Do a little self-reflection 

In advance of becoming a mentor for a colleague, it is worth taking some time to reflect on your motivation for taking on this role. Think about what your mentee may want or need from you, and the strengths and possible weaknesses that you may bring to the process. Have you any past experiences of mentoring relationships? What was it about the mentor’s approach that worked, or didn’t work? What are the lessons you have learnt from failure, as well as success? Importantly, are you prepared to be the one doing most of the listening, especially during the first few meetings?

Step 2: Attend training

Your mentor training will provide clarity on your role and will give you valuable resources for getting your relationship off to the best possible start. You can book your mentor training session here.

Step 3: When you are approached by your prospective mentee, attend a ‘temperature check’ meeting

It’s a good idea to have an initial chat with your prospective mentee where you can talk together about their motivation for seeking a mentor, your motivation for taking on the role, and both of your expectations for the process.

Step 4: Let your Head of School/Unit or Manager know that you’d like to take on the role

Building a community of trained and experienced mentors is an integral element in fostering a mentoring culture. Mentors can also gain a lot from the experience, as outlined in the Mentoring at UCD brochure . Chat with your Head of School/Unit or Manager so that they are aware that you are taking on this supportive role for a colleague.

Step 5: Work with your mentee to establish a mentoring agreement

Once you have both been trained, the mentoring partnership can begin. The first important step is to draft a mentoring agreement together. You’ll be given lots of guidance on how to approach this at your training session.

People and Organisation Development are happy to support events fostering the development of mentoring in UCD. Contact Katharine.Slattery@ucd.ie to discuss your requirements or ideas.

You will find lots of useful resources through the following LinkedIn Learning collections, which are focussed on both mentor training and mentee preparation.

LinkedIn Learning collection: Mentoring Others 

LinkedIn Learning collection: Mentees

 Click here for more information on LinkedIn Learning

Testimonial

Dr Colm Collins, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science (Mentee) & Professor David Brayden, Full Professor of Advanced Drug Delivery at the School of Veterinary Medicine (Mentor)

"We’re up and running very smoothly now.  Once David completed his mentoring training we changed the format of our meetings to a more formal one and I think we’re both happy with the progress so far. We’ve got a good one year plan in place and are working on providing focus and detail to my five year plan with a goal towards achieving promotion eligibility within that time frame. We’re due to meet again in a couple of weeks. It has been invaluable for me as David’s knowledge and experience base is massive. It also seems to be helping David to identify needs of other junior faculty in his School which means hopefully, that it is mutually beneficial "

Please contact peopledevelopment@ucd.ie with any questions, comments or feedback. 

Wednesday, 23 November, 2022

UCD People & Organisation Development

Roebuck Offices, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 4919 | E: peopledevelopment@ucd.ie