Mentoring Programme: Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions
Mentoring programme is primarily about the two-way mentoring discussions between the mentee and the actor and mentor about once a month.
Mentoring is based on a goal-oriented and long-term discussion relationship, the cornerstones being mutual openness, confidentiality and commitment. Where the purpose of in-work mentoring can be seen as information transfer and familiarization with the workplace culture, student mentoring is about the open handling of wishes and dreams related to a student's career and studies and life management together with a more experienced mentor.
Mentoring is the transmission of experiences, insights and knowledge, as well as learning from the experiences of another. Successful mentoring requires activity and commitment from both the actor and the mentor. Mentoring is not about a teacher-student setting, but a two-way interaction in which the mentor and the actor have their roles. At its best, mentoring is an enriching learning experience that benefits both parties.
The programme consists of one-on-one mentoring meetings between the mentor and the actor about once a month. It is recommended that there be at least six mentoring meetings during the programme. Mentoring pairs can decide for themselves when and where / how to meet.
The programme begins with a kick-off event in November and ends with a joint event in May. In addition, we organize smaller experience exchange evenings for mentors and actors. During the programme, there is also the opportunity to participate in cross-mentoring. Mentors and actors can also organize events themselves if they wish.
Yes and no. Students select 2-3 candidates from among the mentor candidates, and based on the suggestions, we make mentoring pair choices in alumni and career services. If necessary, we can suggest another mentor candidate to the student if the situation requires it.
Enthusiasm, motivation and a desire to develop oneself. Goal setting for mentoring and an active role during mentoring. The ability to talk, listen and also question. Commitment to Aalto University's joint principles.
Sometimes the mentoring process ends due to changes in the actor´s/mentor´s personal life, studies or work. In these cases, the mentoring pair should discuss openly whether continuing the process is reasonable or not. If the other party must leave the programme, we do our best to find a another mentor/actor. In principle, we do not search for new mentors/actors on light grounds since, based on mutual interaction, each mentoring relationship is different and unique. In case you have any further concerns or questions, please contact the programme manager ([email protected]).
Both mentors and students applying for the programme are expected to commit themselves to mentoring from November to May. If you feel you are highly motivated for mentoring and you are able to commit on monthly one-on-one discussions, you may apply for the programme.
Transition from a student to a job seeker or full-time employee is a fruitful phase for mentoring. Seeking employment or starting in a new job may generate many questions and concerns, which are great topics to be discussed in the mentoring meetings.
As a rule, only persons with a student status at Aalto University at the start of the programme are eligible to apply.
Unfortunately, participating in the programme as an actor is a once-only opportunity. In other words, persons who have participated in the Aalto University Mentoring Programme earlier are not eligible to apply. However, if you applied last year and for some reason, we could not find you a mentor, you are now first on the list when matching the mentoring pairs.
Open and positive attitude. Ability to listen and be present to the student. Asking questions instead of giving direct advice. Encouragement and desire to help. Willingness to challenge one's own thinking. Equal approach to the mentee. Joy of being a mentor.
If possible, we can suggest another mentor for some of the students applying to the programme. In cases where we see that a mentor candidate missing from the mentor list could be a suitable mentor for a student, we can suggest to the student a mentor candidate who has not disclosed his or her information. Be in touch ([email protected]), so we can discuss how we can proceed.
Yes you can. If you want to mentor a student in a particular field, you can tell it at the end of the mentoring form under “Greetings to the actor candidate”. You can also control actor selection by mentoring languages. The aim is that students find a “resonant” mentor candidate for themselves based on the information in the mentor profile. Therefore, the things you have chosen to present in your mentor profile are relevant. Think about what kind of mentor you are and who would benefit from your experience. Then describe yourself in the mentor profile accordingly.
Discussion topics during mentoring are based on the actor’s individual goals and needs. The so-called general themes that many students applying for a mentoring programme are interested in are:
- Strengths, professional self
- Job search skills, where to look for jobs
- Balance between work and leisure time, self-management
- Stress management, well-being at work
- Working as an expert versus supervisor/management positions
- Acting as an entrepreneur or freelancer.
- Consulting tasks
- Research, postgraduate studies
- Workplace values and work culture. What is the Finnish work culture like?
- Job search abroad, working abroad and working culture in a foreign country
- Responsibility, sustainability
- Service design, product development, data analytics, digitalisation
- Long list of sectoral topics such as machine learning, international business, designer's role, artist's identity…
At the heart of the student-alumni mentoring programme are themes related to career and professional competence, but also issues and pain points related to life management and values. Religion and politics are themes that should be left out of the discussions unless the mentoring pair explicitly agrees.
We naturally hope that all mentor candidates will be selected for the mentoring programme. In the previous years, there have been more students applying for the programme than available mentor candidates. However, the field and career aspirations of student applicants do not always match the field and experience of mentor candidates, so it is possible that there are fewer actor than mentor candidates in some field. We aim to make use of the help offered by all mentor candidates by targeting our student marketing right.