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Manchester Gold Alumni Mentors

Manchester Gold is the flagship mentoring scheme for staff at the University of Manchester. Alongside mentors from the university, the scheme also encourages university alumni to act as mentors recognising that they have valuable experience and knowledge that can benefit colleagues.

Alumni are matched with staff willing to work with an alumni mentor on shared interests and experience. This may be an academic or Professional Services colleague and the programme welcomes alumni mentors able to work with all staff groups. Matches can be broadly based, and you can expect to work with someone from any part of the university – this is often a benefit to mentors and mentees who get to meet people with a different perspective from their own.

Mentor skills sessions, resources and support are provided to all alumni mentors. It is strongly recomended that you attend events associated with Manchester Gold in order to best help mentees. If you have any queries or would like to discuss the programme further, please contact

This programme is a mentoring scheme for University staff members. If you are specifically interested in mentoring a student at the University please get in contact with the University’s Careers Service by emailing

Why do Alumni mentor at the university?

One reason is to help themselves. Mentoring helps develop communication and people skills that are transferable into the mentor's own workplace. For people wanting to move into management it is a great way to demonstrate skills used for managing others and to practice types of conversations encountered in the workplace. It shows an interest in people that can be added to CVs and help with job applications.

Equally, people mentor to help others, to learn, and to feel positive about work.

Here are some reasons alumni give for enjoying mentoring

  • ‘Sharing my skills and experience to help someone in a completely different professional setting’.
  • ‘Always enjoyable working in a mentoring situation as it is a two-way street and I always come away having learnt more through my discussions with my mentee’.
  • ‘Programme was set up and organised well. Training was provided and my mentee was well informed and prepared’.
  • ‘Being part of the Manchester community, being able to give back and sharing experiences’.

How does Manchester Gold work?

Matching will take place in May and you can expect to mentor a member of staff between May 2024 and February 2025. Mentors and mentees normally meet four to five times over this ten-month period, and both will have the opportunity to attend supporting workshops.

The programme involves a time commitment of approximately 15-20 hours over the 9 month period.

Mentor frequently asked questions

What commitment is involved?

Manchester Gold mentors will provide 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?

No. As an alumni you can only mentor as part of Manchester Gold.

Online or in-person?

It can be either and this is for the mentor and mentee to decide. A mix of meeting types may work best. Virtual meetings do have a number of benefits including being easier to arrange and taking place more frequently especially for alumni mentors who are not based on campus. 

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 alumni 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 support sessions which run over the course of the programme which alumni 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, Learning & Organisational Development are on hand to offer 1:1 support where needed. Please contact 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.

Alumni Mentors come from a range of different backgrounds and with experiences outside of university that are often very useful to mentees. We welcome applications from alumni.

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 confirm suitability. 

How do I bring closure to the mentoring relationship?

Manchester Gold for 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. Learning and Organisational Development can also provide you with tools and advice - please contact 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

How will I be contacted by the programme?

In your application form we will ask you to provide your email address and all contact will be via the email address To ensure our emails reach you and aren’t directed to junk, please add this email address into your trusted email list in your email settings.