The Power of IoD Student Mentoring

The Institute of Directors’ student mentoring programme at the University of Wolverhampton’s Business School is celebrating a successful 13 years helping more than 300 graduates find employment.

Pictured below is my friend and colleague Stuart Squire, a founder member of the programme with student Ellemae Harris who is due to graduate with a degree in HR Management this summer.  The two of them are celebrating the fact that Ellemae has successfully landed a dream job with help from Stuart, her mentor.

Ellemae joined our IoD mentoring programme in October 2022 and since that time worked with Stuart on a one-to-one basis.  The IoD programme focuses on all aspects of job search and the importance of enhancing their non-academic employability skills.

Stuart is a Chartered Director, formerly the Sales Director of a successful company in the Black Country manufacturing specialist nurse call equipment for hospitals in the UK and overseas. He has a wealth of practical hands-on business experience and enjoys helping and bringing out the very best in our students, something he is extremely good at.

Ellemae did well at school with her GCSEs and A Levels but like so many young people had no idea about what she really wanted to do and admits that choosing a business career was a bit of a stab in the dark. Stuart and I both think it’s a shame that businesses find it so hard to engage with and find time to visit schools to really talk about what we do and how rewarding and creative a business career can be.

During the last nine months, as well as providing individual one-to-one mentoring support, we have provided mentor and mentee catch up group sessions with the help of our IoD members led by Dr Jenni Jones, a leading academic from the University of Wolverhampton.

Jenni has a Doctorate in coaching and mentoring and this specialist knowledge, linked with our hands on practical background in business, has proved a powerful force for good.  We have concentrated on soft skills, selection interview practice, CV development and planned networking. Over our 13 years of operation, we have clearly demonstrated that we can vastly improve the chances of our graduates finding employment commensurate with the qualifications they have worked so hard to gain. We have helped over 300 graduates to find jobs.

Ellemae told me that she is so grateful to Stuart. She said:

“He opened my eyes to many more possibilities in building a business career using all of my knowledge including my science A Levels. With Stuart’s help I have just accepted a management role with David Lloyd Clubs. This is something I would never have thought about without my mentor. The business is focused on health and fitness and having always got on well with people, Stuart helped me to realise the many ways I could put my skills to best effect.”
Ellemae Harris

The mentoring team are all volunteers and together with Jenni’s help we run a number of other practical fun exercises, connected with the IoD, with students at the Business School in Wolverhampton. But we always need more people like you to come forward and help us.  We promise you it’s extremely rewarding and both flexible and a great use of your valuable time as directors and members of the IoD.

If you would like to know more about our mentoring work, please do not hesitate to contact me: John [email protected] or call me on 07703 35589.

This blog was written by John Phillips, IoD Black Country & Staffordshire ambassador for education and skills.

Better directors for a better world

The IoD supports directors and business leaders across the UK and beyond to learn, network and build successful, responsible businesses.
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