Springboard mentees information

Do I need a mentor?

Before deciding you would like to have a Springboard mentor please read the following information.

What is Springboard mentoring?

There are many different forms of mentoring. Some, such as mentoring of a newly appointed academic by a more senior person from his or her department, already operate within the University. Springboard mentoring does not depend on a mentor with seniority 'opening doors' for a more junior mentee. Instead it is mentoring by a peer, who may be more senior or more junior than the mentee, but who shares her experience of the Springboard programme. The Springboard mentor's aim is to encourage the mentee's personal development by taking approaches and using techniques which enable the mentee to act for herself.

What you can expect from a Springboard mentor

Someone who will:

  • Listen to you with respect,
  • Make any expectations that she has clear to you,
  • Be confidential, accessible at agreed times, objective, non-judgemental, calm, positive, enthusiastic and assertive.
  • Help you to develop and achieve your goals by taking small steps,
  • Help you to realise your potential,
  • Provide you with ideas and experience, and
  • Provide you with feedback.

The mentors’ role is not to:

  • Act as a counsellor
  • Have magic answers or ‘quick fixes’
  • Do things for you
  • Act as a manager or be directive
  • Try and change your personality

If you decide having read this that you would like a Springboard mentor please read on…

How to select a mentor

  • Read through the profiles on the Springboard website.
  • Contact the person you think would be most suited to you and your needs based on the information they have given.
  • When you make contact we would like you to provide the mentor with the following information:
    • What circumstances have led you to seek mentoring
    • What is it that you would like to achieve through mentoring
    • Any additional information you feel might be useful for the mentor to know (this could relate to your personal or professional life)
  • This will be a useful starting point for the mentor who will decide if she’s suitable for you. If she thinks you would be better suited to another mentor she will let you know and, with your agreement, will pass your details on to them.
  • The mentor would also recommend alternative sources of support/advice if she feels that mentoring may not be the most appropriate way forward for you.

Timing and frequency of mentoring meetings

How often will we meet?

This will be agreed between you and your mentor – we suggest an hour once a month in the first instance but this can be altered to suit you both.

When and where will we meet?

This will be agreed between you and your mentor. We suggest it is somewhere away from your workplace. We recommend that wherever you decide to meet it should be somewhere you both feel comfortable and able to speak in confidence. We recommend mentoring meetings take place outside of your working hours, either at lunchtime or before/after work.

How long will the mentoring relationship last?

This will be agreed between you and your mentor. We recommend a period of about six months.

What will be expected of me?

To get the best out of a Springboard mentoring relationship you will need to be:

  • committed, for example attending planned sessions, taking the actions that you plan with your mentor,
  • prepared to be challenged when your mentor feels that this, rather than perhaps sympathy, will benefit you,
  • professional in your relationship with your mentor, for example being punctual, respecting agreed groundrules, and
  • as open and honest with your mentor as possible.

What happens if I feel it’s not working

Please tell your mentor in the first instance and, where possible, an alternative mentor will be found for you, or another source of support depending on individual needs. It may be that you need an alternative source of support/advice instead of mentoring.