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Manchester Gold Mentors

If you feel you can support another colleague at the University with their career development, please apply to be a mentor on the programme. Previous mentors on the scheme have benefited in the following ways:

  • developing coaching/management skills
  • enhancing CV
  • sharing experience and knowledge with another member of staff
  • gaining the satisfaction of helping others develop their potential
  • networking with staff

Feedback from mentors on the 2020 programme:

  • “I thought it was very rewarding to offer support to like-minded colleagues who want to achieve and that I was a part of their achievement.”
  • “I have got a lot out of Manchester Gold as a mentee and mentor. It's a very good scheme.”
  • “I have mainly been a sounding board. My mentees have made good progress during our time together.”
  • “I have enjoyed being able to support my mentee embarking on her career, advocating for her and providing networking opportunities.
  • “I had ignored Manchester Gold, thinking ‘I’m too busy – I can’t fit mentoring into my schedule’. Then last year, I signed up as a mentor for the first time last year. I discovered that the time commitment was just a few hours altogether. The robot match was perfect – I was inspired by my mentee, a member of PS staff just starting out on her career, now doing an MA in Sociology. I have enjoyed it so much that I have taken on more mentees outside of this scheme.”

Mentor frequently asked questions

What commitment is involved?

Manchester Gold Staff will take up approximately 20 hours over a nine month period. This includes attendance at all events, attendance at some workshops, preparing for meetings and the face-to-face meetings themselves.

Can I be a mentee and a mentor at the same time?

Yes, each year we have a few people who act as a mentor and a mentee simultaneously. This works very effectively and is common practice in many organisations.

How effective is virtual mentoring?

In 2020, Manchester Gold ran virtually for the first time very successfully. Feedback showed that 91% of mentees felt they achieved their goals and objectives from the programme, and 95% said they developed a good working relationship with their mentor. Virtual meetings were actually found to have a number of benefits, including being easier to arrange and taking place more frequently. 

Its important to remember that mentoring is always about the people, about the learning, and about the connection. That’s it. No matter what platform you use, whether it’s virtual or face-face, the work of mentoring relationships is always in the relationship. Please refer to the Mentor Information Pack for tips on how to get the best from a virtual mentoring relationship. 

How are mentors supported on the programme?

All mentors are invited to attend a half day mentor skills workshop, whether that is to refresh or develop your skills to work effectively with your mentee. In addition, there are three mentor peer supervision sessions which run over the course of the programme which mentors are encouraged to attend. These provide a confidential space for mentors to work through challenges, and access support from the mentor supervisor and other mentors on the programme. Finally, Staff Learning & Development are on hand to offer 1:1 support where needed. Please contact manchestergold@manchester.ac.uk to arrange this. 

What if I can't deliver what my mentee expects of me?

You will have been matched with your mentee based on their requirements corresponding with your experience and skills as detailed on your application form, so in most cases you will be able to help. The programme induction will equip you with some basic tools to help you carry out your role and will set your mentee's expectations - in other words, your mentee shouldn't expect you to guarantee them a promotion! You will find an optional agreement in your induction pack that can help form the basis of a discussion around expectations.

Your mentee should bring a clear set of objectives to the first meeting that you can review together. You may find that you cannot help them on every objective and you may want to concentrate on key areas. It may also be that you signpost your mentee to other contacts if you feel you are not the best person to help them in certain areas - one of the roles of a mentor is to help the mentee develop networks. Remember that mentoring is a subtle art - often it is the small things that count like offering an impartial ear, understanding a predicament and providing encouragement.

However, if the match was wrong and things really aren't working, be open with your mentee and let them know how you feel. If you decide it is best not to continue, please let the Manchester Gold team know.

Do I have enough experience to be a mentor?

The level of experience needed really depends on what the mentee is looking for. Mentees register with very different needs such as:

  • help in adjusting to a new job and faculty
  • taking on more responsibility
  • managing staff
  • gaining an understanding of the University and how it works
  • knowledge of job hunting
  • improving confidence

or maybe something more specific.

You will be matched according to what the mentee is looking for.

Mentors have tended to come from across the University including project managers, lecturers, senior research fellows, technicians and supervisors. We welcome applications from all members of staff.

Who will I be matched with?

You will be matched with a mentee on the basis of your application form. When you register you will be asked about the skills and experience you have to offer, and you also have the option of specifying the kind of person you are looking to mentor. When a mentee registers, they specify what areas they are seeking support in and what skills and experience they are looking for in a mentor. During the matching process a member of the Manchester Gold team will be in touch with you to talk through the match and confirm suitability. 

How do I bring closure to the mentoring relationship?

Manchester Gold Staff has a specific end date which is celebrated with a closing event. This is an ideal time to bring closure to the relationship, and to spend some time reviewing the process.

I've not heard from my mentee recently and I am concerned that the relationship is not progressing

The mentee should drive the relationship; we ask them to arrange the meetings and set objectives. At the first meeting you should discuss preferred methods of communication, work schedules and availability and even set up rough dates for the meetings, which should help to avoid problems of this kind. However, some mentees may need more support than others - they may be nervous about making contact, or may be struggling to prioritise time when they will concentrate on their personal development due to a heavy workload. You should try to make contact with them, and if you are still experiencing problems, contact a member of the Manchester Gold team.

What can I do if our meeting seem to be running out of steam?

Although the mentee should drive the relationship and set objectives, the mentor should spend time thinking about how to meet those objectives, and perhaps planning activities for the mentee. Signposting mentees to other contacts, externally and internally, is very useful and will help the mentee build contacts, as well as provide further points for discussion. Staff Learning and Development can also provide you with tools and advice - please contact Denise Fieldhouse at denise.c.fieldhouse@manchester.ac.uk for further information.

What if I decide I don't want to continue with the programme?

Please contact Manchester Gold team and your mentee ASAP.

Do you have any tips and advice about how to get the most from the programme?

  • Be organised and committed
  • Take notes
  • Prepare for meetings
  • Set and agree objectives
  • Be open and assertive
  • Be punctual and re-schedule with plenty of warning
  • Give the relationship time to gel
  • Attend the workshops and events