September 21, 2018, by Jackie Thompson
The Two Sides of Career Mentoring
By Sarah Brumpton, Career Mentoring Administrator
The mentee, Jemima Willgoss
I started studying food science with little idea of where I wanted to go with it, and having read about the benefits of Career Mentoring I thought it would be really helpful to have someone to guide me with career choices. My mentor is Sam Higginson, a graduate food technologist at Marks and Spencer.
How Sam has helped me
The mentoring relationship with Sam has been extremely useful. He has been really supportive of my career goals, helping with my CV, giving advice on placements and my module choices. Sam helped me to tailor these around my career aspirations, choosing modules that future employers would find interesting or beneficial. He was also able to help me find work experience.
Being there to answer my questions
I’m finding it very helpful having someone to answer my questions about my career aspirations and university life. I didn’t realise how many different career paths there are for me and the types of jobs available. Sam has given me a better understanding of the career direction I may take.
The mentor, Sam Higginson
After graduating from BSc Nutrition and Food Science in 2016, I secured a place on the Marks and Spencer Food Technology Graduate scheme. So far, I have worked in the groceries and deli departments and I’m loving it so far.
Why I wanted to be a mentor
I wanted to sign up to be a career mentor to help guide students looking at their potential career options as I know how daunting it all can be. As I have previously worked in a lab, retail and manufacturing, I have a good understanding of the options available.
How I’ve supported Jemima
Working with Jemima has been great, we’ve spent time talking about different career options within the food industry. I arranged a week’s work experience at Marks and Spencer’s head office and a few days with a supplier for her. I think gaining work experience is key to understanding what different roles involve. Having a mentor can be a great way to get a foot in the door.
We’ve spoken about tailoring modules to her career choices, and how choosing something more unusual could help her stand out from the crowd when it comes to applying for jobs.
Overall, I think the whole experience has been really great. I’ve enjoyed helping Jemima through her first year and hope to continue to support her through her time at university.
Are you interested in having a mentor to explore your career options? Find out more about Career Mentoring and hear from Nerissa and Amy too!