The Aalto University Mentoring Programme
Sign up as a student mentor in the Aalto University Mentoring Programme!
Mentoring Programme contents
In the Aalto University Mentoring Programme, students are provided with the opportunity to meet with people who are already part of working life and develop their own abilities and expertise. The programme provides its participants with mutual benefits and collaborative opportunities. Every year, the programme brings together three hundred Finnish and foreign students and alumni, both in Finland and abroad. The programme is a meeting ground for different fields, disciplines, nations and generations.
While workplace mentoring usually focuses on transferring knowledge and introducing people to the operational culture of their workplace, student mentoring focuses on providing students with the opportunity to discuss their wishes and dreams for their careers, studies as well as life together with experienced mentors.
Mentoring is based on a goal-focused, long-term, and discussion-oriented relationship whose cornerstones include mutual openness, confidentiality and commitment. Mentoring focuses on sharing experiences, perspectives and skills and learning from another person’s experiences. A successful mentoring process requires activity and commitment from both the mentee and mentor. It is the mentee’s responsibility to ensure that the mentoring process proceeds in a goal-oriented manner with regular meetings. At its best, the mentoring process is a two-directional and interactive relationship that is beneficial for both the mentee and mentor.
A key part of the mentoring programme is the one-to-one meetings between the mentee and mentor that are arranged around once per month. Alongside these meetings, the Aalto University Mentoring Programme includes common events that are open to all and that help promote interaction between alumni and students from different fields and provide support for the mentoring process. The one-year mentoring programme begins in September for all mentoring pairs with a common kick-off event, where the participants are informed about the programme’s purpose and goals. The mentoring pairs are also provided with a mentoring guidebook that has been created specifically for the programme. The programme concludes with a common event in May. Mentors and mentees are provided with peer support in separate events. Both mentors and mentees are also welcome to arrange discussions and organisational visits during the programme. Most events are arranged in English.
It’s been great to hear the thoughts and values of someone who is younger than me.
Do you want to become a mentor?
You can sign up as a mentor if you are a graduate of the School of Business, the School of Arts, Design and Architecture (previously known as the School of Art and Design and the Department of Architecture) or schools of technology (previously known as Helsinki University of Technology) and have been a part of working life for at least five years. The most important part of becoming a mentor is the willingness to share your experiences and skills to a student, to be present and listen. We are especially interested in alumni who are still part of working life.
The mentees are Finnish and international Aalto University degree students who are currently completing their master’s degrees. Mentoring an international student is open to both Finns who speak excellent English as well as international alumni who want to meet a representative of a foreign culture and introduce them to Finnish working life.
What the Mentoring Programme provides for alumni
- the opportunity to develop your mentoring, coaching and interpersonal skills
- connections with students in your field
- an avenue for having a say at Aalto University
- the chance to develop and expand your professional network
- new perspectives and opportunities to structure and assess your own skills and experiences
- the chance to meet a representative from a foreign culture
What we expect from mentors
- one-on-one time with the mentee once a month, on average
- the ability to set targets and agree on practical matters with the mentee
- support the development of the student’s working life skills as a mentor
- responding to mentoring-related inquiries and providing feedback
- if any problems arise during the programme, contact the leader of the programme: [email protected]
What we do not expect from mentors
- you are not required to offer your mentee a job or an internship
- you do not need to answer every single question that your mentee has
- you do not need to share all of your contacts with your mentee
An alumnus who lives abroad or elsewhere in Finland can also apply to become a mentor. In this case, your mentorship will be conducted primarily via email, phone or Skype as a kind of remote mentorship. Some of the students who apply for the programme may also go on exchange during their mentorship year.
We recommend arranging meetups with the mentee, for example in connection with a trip to Finland or the Helsinki region.
Spending time with the students and understanding current trends is particularly important.