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8:15am 19 Oct 2022

Take a look at the current opportunities available to support you in securing a mentor or becoming a mentor:

BCU Professional Mentoring programme

Programme overview 

  • The Professional Mentoring programme is a university-wide initiative, linking students with industry professionals. This is an invaluable opportunity for BCU students to develop their employability skills through networking and gaining a real insight into the next steps in their career, as well as building up a portfolio of transferable skills through engagement with their mentor. The mentoring is also a great way to raise aspirations and increase self-confidence. 

Benefits of having a mentor 

  • One to one support from industry professionals 
  • Develop employability skills 
  • Access networking opportunities 
  • Identify strengths and areas for development 
  • Gain a fresh perspective and insight into career choices 
  • Certificate upon completion 
  • Entry into BCU Mentee Awards!

BCU has links with industry professionals across all sectors who have kindly volunteered their time to share their experiences, provide an insight into life after university and support you with your career development. A thorough matching process will ensure the most appropriate matches are made, based on criteria such as industry, job role and skills support. Mentors will all have varying levels of work experience and areas of expertise but when you are matched with a mentor you will be provided with a summary of their details, and reasons for the match. 

What to expect 

The Professional Mentoring programme will run for 10 week periods. We would ask that the minimum mentor/mentee contact is 5 hours, the format of which is up to you and your mentor (i.e. 1 hour fortnightly, 30 minutes weekly). We recommend in person sessions where possible or video calls online. 

Where possible, mentors will invite their mentee to shadow them/colleagues at an insight day or half day (we understand that this may not be possible in every case). This will give the mentee a really good insight into what their mentor does on a daily basis, what their role involves and who they liaise with during a regular working day. The programme runs 3 times a year. The next programme will run on the 9th May, with a deadline of 14th April. 


A 15 minute video will be circulated to all participants, both mentors and mentees, so that expectations and guidelines are outlined. 

Next steps 

If you are interested in participating please email and a member of the team will contact you to collect further details. Thank you for your interest in the Professional Mentoring programme at BCU – we look forward to supporting your career progression through this fantastic opportunity! 

Barnardos Early Help Mentoring & Befriending Service

Programme Overview

  • Barnardo's are recruiting BCU students and graduates to become Volunteer Mentors for children and young people in Birmingham with additional wellbeing needs
  • This is an amazing opportunity to gain real-life work experience mentoring a young person with a reputable charity

Benefits of Becoming a Volunteer Mentor

  • Access to Barnardo's internal staff-only job vacancy listing
  • BCU work closely with Barnardo's to fill their Graduate job roles
  • Practical experience working in the sector with real cases
  • Opportunities for successful volunteers to move into being a paid Mentor in future
  • Access to Barnardo's full online training platform
  • Network with other volunteers and professional staff in the sector
  • Make a difference in a young person’s life
  • Receive a certificate of completion

Volunteer Mentors Skills

  • Reliable, punctual and trustworthy
  • Approachable and welcoming
  • The ability to empathise with children, who may be facing difficult times in their lives
  • Awareness of factors impacting on and issues facing young people (disadvantage, poverty, disabilities, health conditions including mental health)
  • Passion about making a difference in the lives of children, young people and families

The Process

  • BCU Pre-Screening Expression of Interest Form - If you are interested in applying, the first step is to complete a short pre-screening online form to check you meet the requirements of the role
  • Barnardo’s Full Application Form - If you are successful in the pre-screening, you will be invited to complete a full application form on Barnardo’s website
  • Reference Request & DBS Check - You will be required to provide two-character references from people who have known you for at least two years, and Barnardo’s will support you to obtain a DBS check
  • Training - You will be asked to complete some online training modules on Barnardo’s website and attend an in-person workshop with Barnardo’s to learn everything you need to know about being a Mentor. You will also have the option of attending more in-depth training provided by external training companies over the course of your time as a Mentor
  • Matching with your Mentee - Barnardo’s will match you with your Mentee based on your location preferences and your areas of experience
  • Mentoring Starts - You will meet with the Mentee in their school once a week for a 45-minute Mentoring session for a minimum of six weeks and a maximum of 12 weeks
  • Mentoring Finishes - When your Mentoring has finished, you will have the option to be matched with a new Mentee and take on another period of Mentoring if you choose

Important Information

  • All of your travel expenses will be covered by Barnardo’s
  • The Mentoring sessions will be fit round your existing commitments
  • You will be supported by a Professional Mentor from Barnardo’s at all times

 Your Commitments as a Volunteer Mentor

  • You will be expected to be a Volunteer Mentor for at least 6 months
  • You will meet your Mentee for 45 minutes per week during school hours
  • You will be required to plan your Mentoring sessions and write up post-session notes

Next Steps

Submit your Pre-Screening Expression of Interest Form here

Any questions please email the BCU Project Officer Robyn Payne -

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