NUI Galway students gain 'life experience' through mentoring programme

Monday, 2 April 2007

2 April 2007: NUI Galway's Career Connect Mentoring Programme, designed to provide students with an opportunity to meet, discuss career goals and network with professionals locally and worldwide, celebrated another successful year with the presentation of certificates to participants at a recent ceremony.

Developed by the Careers Service, the programme puts students in touch with graduates of NUI Galway who are working in a career area of interest to the student. Over a period of time the graduate mentors the students, which involves providing the student with professional support in the form of advice, information and feedback. The mentor draws on their own professional experiences, to support and encourage the student or to offer different perspectives.

Mary O'Riordan, Vice-President for Student Services and Human Resources presented participants with certificates at the recent ceremony. "In an era with excellent employment prospects for graduates there is a corresponding need for them to make good decisions and successful applications," she said.

"This programme, which is now in its third year of operation, continues to be very successful and forms an essential element of the Careers Service portfolio of supports available to students to enable them to make good career decisions."

Joan Lally, Mentoring Officer at the Careers Service explains the benefits of the programme to students. "There is a huge difference between college life and the realities of the workplace and at the Careers Service we are trying to bridge this gap with the Career Connect Mentoring Programme. By connecting with a professional, the student gains knowledge, insight and support to help them on their way. Also, the mentoring allows them the opportunity to get 'real life' exposure and so therefore can reconcile their perception of a career and the actual reality".

Students who participated in the programme have said they found it very useful and worthwhile and have found the opportunity to gain 'real life' exposure to a career or organisation extremely valuable. Mentors have been happy to become involved with the university community at a personal level and impact positively in the lives of students. The programme has also given them the opportunity to develop and practice their coaching skills.

The programme is open to all professionals as well as graduates of NUI Galway. For further information or to become a mentor, contact Joan Lally, Careers Service NUI Galway. Tel: 091 492053.

ENDS

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