News from the group mentoring programme for 2018–2019

The group mentoring programme for 2018–2019 has reached the halfway stage. The programme kick-off session in late November brought together a total of 30 mentors and more than 100 mentees at Think Corner. On 28 February, the mentors convened in the Teachers’ Lounge in Porthania to share their experiences so far.

The group mentoring programme started with a kick-off session at Think Corner on 20 November 2018. After the session was opened by Susanna Niinistö-Sivuranta, director of development at the University of Helsinki, the mentoring groups attending the session mingled with each other and enthusiastically launched the six-month mentoring process. Three of the groups are working in English, one in Swedish and the remainder in Finnish.

As was the case last year, the kick-off session also provided the mentors and mentees with training on mentoring and insight into its potential. The training, led by Päivi Kupias (Tevere Oy), focused on the significance of targets, commitment and confidential interaction for successful mentoring. The session concluded with each of the groups drawing up a mentoring agreement, in which the members committed to the process and scheduled their first meetings.

An interim meeting of mentors in February

As February turned into March, the mentoring programme reached the halfway stage. To mark the occasion, the mentors were invited to a traditional interim meeting on 28 February to share their experiences. The mentors in attendance discussed the diverse approaches they had used and gave their thoughts on how the mentoring had gone so far.

The groups had discussed a wide range of career options as well as how to identify and rely on one’s strengths. Other issues the groups had addressed included the practicalities of job-seeking and the development of an “elevator pitch”. Some of the groups had visited companies, which sparked an enthusiastic response from the mentors.

Of the numerous themes raised at the interim meeting, those explored by several groups included students’ coping skills, confidence in one’s abilities and a wider view of career options. The challenges brought up by mentors included encouraging students to think of interesting career paths, although one group had found this easy. The mentors cited the opportunity of mentees to support each other as one of the pros of the programme’s group approach.

Group activities to continue until May

The group mentoring programme will continue until the end of May when the groups will meet for a final wrap-up session. Information on the application process for the next mentoring programme will be provided in the summer, and students will be able to apply in autumn 2019. More information will be posted on this page by June.