The latest group mentoring programme ended on 18 May when the participants met to reflect on the past six months. As can be expected during this exceptional spring, the participants shared their experiences via a remote Zoom call. Vice-Rector Sari Lindblom also joined the call to virtually present the mentors and actors with certificates of participation.
Mentoring gave confidence in the future and practical tips for job hunting
A total of 105 actors from various faculties participated in the group mentoring programme, launched in late November. During the wrap-up session, which utilised the Flinga platform, the participants praised the programme for giving them confidence in the future.
- I feel more confident now and believe that even if I don’t have everything under control, things will eventually sort themselves out regarding my career.
- Belief in my skills and the future.
- Peace of mind about building my career: easy does it!
Many participants said that mentoring had clarified their thoughts about not only their career, but also their studies.
- I came to understand my strengths better and got many new ideas for searching for a job and developing my professional skills.
- Confidence, CV and job application tips, an updated LinkedIn page, information on the working culture of employers I am interested in, and flexibility.
- Although the programme gave me a lot, it wasn’t what I was looking for.
- I now approach career planning more systematically and with better tools.
The participants in the annual mentoring programme have usually also acquired practical skills, such as how to write a CV, and shared tips for job hunting. Some of this year’s groups had also discussed these topics, but others had engaged in a broader discussion of the future and themes relating to career planning.
The actors took to Flinga to describe what they were going to do after the programme ended.
- My goal is to find a meaningful job.
- I will continue my studies with more confidence and begin to make plans to apply for a trainee position while working on my bachelor’s thesis.
Praise for the actors’ active efforts and benefit for the mentors, too
The 28 mentors participating in the latest programme included both veterans and first-timers representing a variety of sectors, such as corporate leadership, teaching, law, marketing, communication and pharmacy. As the programme drew to a close, the mentors had encouraging words for the actors.
- Thank you for being present as yourselves and contributing to a process that has enabled us to learn so much from each other!
- Great discussions, brilliant actors! Be bold, believe in yourself and don’t shy away from challenges!
For the mentors, the opportunity to share experiences was one of the highlights of the programme. They also said that they themselves had learned a lot.
- I probably gained as much as you in terms of reflection on my career.
- It was great working with you! I not only gained new perspectives, but also acquired concrete skills.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the groups met remotely as of March. Many of the participants commended the remote meetings in their final feedback and said that the new situation had taught them new approaches they can use in the job market.
- Thank you to my active team of actors! You put in a lot of effort to develop yourselves and were not afraid to start using the equipment required for remote work. You turned the exceptional circumstances to your benefit. Working with you was rewarding.
Programme to be further developed – mentors can apply as of September and actors as of October
Participants in group mentoring are always asked for their feedback, which is used annually to develop the programme. Accordingly, the next programme will be developed, for example, so that the parallel use of Finnish, English and Swedish will function more smoothly. The possibility of organising separate orientation meetings for actors and mentors before the joint kick-off will also be explored. Further information will be provided in the autumn.
When group mentoring continues next autumn, it will be the 10th programme at the University of Helsinki. Prospective mentors can apply for the programme as of August–September. The aim is to find mentors that represent all faculties and sectors of society. Information on the application process will be provided through the University’s alumni channels and on this site.
Students can submit their applications later in the autumn, after information on the application process has been published in the group mentoring blog and Career Services’ communication channels. Information on arrangements for remote mentoring, if any, will be provided when the application process begins.
Career Services and HelsinkiAlumni would like to thank all the alumni/mentors and student/actors for contributing to the success of the latest programme and wish them a lovely summer!
Further information on group mentoring:
Alumni: HelsinkiAlumni, marja.peltomaki(at)helsinki.fi
Students: Career Services, careerservices(at)helsinki.fi
Text and pictures: Miika Mertanen