The Mentoring Scheme runs for six months each academic year and pairs second-year students with alumni mentors for the purposes of careers and personal development. Alumni and students are matched based on their areas of professional expertise, DCU course and areas of interest. This Learning Portfolio page will help students reflect, record and document their experiences and DCU graduate attributes
Signing up for the mentorship programme is one of the best decisions I have made in my college career. Through this programme I have grown immensely as a person and learned so much about not only myself but how I can be better prepared for the workplace and my future career.
I have become so confident, that sometimes I don't recognise myself! Through attending career skills workshops, meeting my mentor, doing a Shadow day with her, and being able to email her with any questions I had, I was able to improve myself and learn many new skills.
I still remember being so nervous just trying to set up the first meeting. When I finally arrived at the Guinness Storehouse to meet my mentor, Jenny I was so hesitant that I nearly left, twice. I wasn’t confident and felt like I should never have signed up in the first place.
Then I met Jenny, and she completely changed my perspective. We were able to work as a team and developed a plan to improve my soft skills and make me realise just how great I really am. We set goals and focused on creating a fabulous CV and a sample cover letter, improving my interview skills, learning to network, setting up a LinkedIn, and finally, finding out what I really want to do after college and what industry I would like to work in. One of the main goals was to prepare me for the INTRA process and make sure that I get an internship that I really want for the 12 month work placement in third year.
I learned how to stick to deadlines by not procrastinating and really figured out what I would like to do. I think this is one of the most important things that I have learned through this programme. I am now focused on the career that I would like to have instead of thinking of what everyone else is doing.
Because of all the meetings and email communication with my mentor, my communication skills have vastly improved. I know how to write emails with a good workplace etiquette and how to converse with people in the workplace. I have also learned to adapt to any situation quite well because of the work shadow day.
I now know how to go about searching for a future career and what I have to do to excel in interviews. Through the workshops I attended I learned what employers look for when hiring and the huge emphasis that is put on the ‘growth mindset’ and how important having a LinkedIn is. Going to these workshops made me realise how ‘behind’ everyone else I was by not using all the tools that are accessible to me. I had to step back and really focus on creating my brand and showcasing my skills and achievements. I was able to work on this with my mentor and now have a strong LinkedIn profile and a well branded CV.
Another workshop that made an impact on me was ‘Dress for Success’. I really enjoyed it as I was able to learn what ‘smart casual’ really is, and what clothing is most appropriate for my line of work. I was able to trial all that I have learned about dressing for the workplace at the meetings with my mentor and the work shadow day. I now feel that when I start my INTRA placement I won’t be stressed or worried about what to wear, because my professional capsule wardrobe is all set and ready.
INTRA isn’t a worry for me anymore, because of all that I have learned through the mentorship programme and the skills I was able to improve I secured an amazing work placement. Instead of stressing out about my future career and finding a job I am now confident and ready to take on the world. I can't wait to see what I will be able to accomplish in the next 12 months during my INTRA placement. I now know that my potential is limitless and can’t wait to see who I’ll become when I finally ‘ grow up’.