Information School students have the opportunity to take part in the University’s eMentoring scheme which partners students with professionals working in their target field. Through engaging in the scheme and talking with mentors, students gain insights into particular job roles, gain valuable advice about the recruitment process and develop important industry knowledge. Students have two opportunities to register for the scheme, and are matched to a professional volunteer mentor in a relevant job role. All students who applied for the scheme in 2017-18 were successfully matched with a mentor. The student and their mentor meet virtually for 7-10 weeks to discuss technical and professional topics, share experiences of job search and recruitment and discuss applications and CVs.
Students who have taken part in the scheme report that they feel better informed about their career options in their field, have improved confidence and feel better equipped to apply for jobs and attend interviews and have developed important networking skills.
98% of those who took part would recommend the scheme to other students.
In 2017-18 26 Information School students took part in the scheme and were matched with mentors from a huge range of sectors and job roles:
- Learning and Teaching Librarian - University for the Creative Arts
- Director of Partnerships - ReCharge Payments
- Senior Associate, Risk Assurance - PricewaterhouseCoopers
- Ecommerce Sales Manager - Amazon
- Tableau Analyst (Data Visualisation) - Jet2
- Associate Director, Library Services - The Open University
- Data and Information Technical Specialist - Environment Agency
- Business Intelligence Analyst - Just Eat
- Data Architect - Wm Morrisons Plc
- IT Architect - IBM
Mei Chen studied Information Systems and recommends the scheme:
“I decided to apply for the scheme as I have read about how the eMentoring scheme supports students.
My mentor was particularly helpful in providing me with insight and overall understanding of his organisation as well as his job function.
He was an University of Sheffield alumni who had studied MSc in Information Systems, he provided me with information to potential career paths after completing this degree. He was very encouraging and informative about the recruitment process within his organisation.
Not only did I learn about the UK working world from my mentor, I also learned interesting facts about his home country. The scheme provides students a great way to network and gain an understanding of the UK working environment, I highly recommend students to sign up for this scheme.”
Victoria Edwards studied Information Services Management and found a mentor via the scheme:
“I have gained a better insight into the world of publishing and now feel more confident about transferable skills that I could use if I decide to apply for jobs in this sector in the future.
I feel that the information and advice my mentor has given me is invaluable, not only in terms of future career prospects but in terms of seeing a different perspective that is outside the bubble of the library and information sector.
As the two sectors have strong links, my mentor has been able to provide me with resources that will be useful within my own workplace.”
Erick Mendez Guzman studied Data Science at the Information School:
"I decided to apply for the eMentoring scheme looking to integrate a business perspective of how and where data science products are being implemented across different types of organisations. Moreover, I was particularly interested in knowing more about sports analytics projects across Europe.
My tutor was a senior sports executive with more than ten years of professional experience in Europe and Asia. We had weekly and fluent communication by email and Whatsapp to follow up the goals that mutually defined. Furthermore, we had two phone conversations both at the beginning and end of the scheme. His business experience helped me to understand how data science initiatives are being integrated into the value chain of relevant players in the industry. Thanks to our conversations, also, I identified career development alternatives that I hadn’t thought before meeting him.
I would like to highlight two main learnings that I got out from this e-mentoring scheme. First, it was very useful for me to incorporate a new business perspective of how data science could be helpful for organisations. Second, the e-mentoring scheme was an excellent opportunity to interact in a professional context.
I totally recommend the scheme not only from a technical perspective but especially from a strategic and business point of view.
Thank you very much, Richard!"
A Library and Information Services Management student says:
I decided to apply for the eMentoring scheme for two main reasons.
Firstly, I wished to get an insight into the career path of a successful individual in the library profession, and an idea about what their job consists of on a day-to-day basis, in order to assess whether a similar career would suit me.
Secondly, I wanted to get some practical advice about the kinds of skills and knowledge I should focus on developing in order to ensure that I remain employable in the long-term, and how I should go about securing a professional post the academic or workplace library sector.
Over the ten weeks that I was in touch with them, my mentor provided a really helpful perspective on all of this, and more. I found that our discussions developed beyond my initial questions, to take in a deeper consideration of various highly pertinent topics in the library sector today, such as librarians' teaching responsibilities, and the impact that developments in IT have had, and continue to have, on librarians' roles.
My mentor pointed me in the direction of several helpful resources and events, such as the LILAC conference, and a recent SCONUL report on the future of academic libraries. Having completed the scheme, I feel that I have a more definite idea of the direction that I would like to take in my career, and how I might navigate some of the challenges that I am likely to encounter."
Liz Barnard, a Library and Information Services Management student recommends the e-mentoring scheme:
"I decided to apply for the eMentoring scheme because I have been considering my career options for when I finish my course. Having previously had a mentor when I completed my certification with CILIP I was already aware of the benefits. My experience is in a college library and public library so I thought the e-mentoring scheme would be a great way to speak to someone in another sector and find out from them first-hand what it’s like to work there.
I selected three mentors which I thought might be a good match and I was matched, rather serendipitously, with my mentor who had a wealth of experience in school libraries just as I was applying for a job in one! I communicated with my mentor through email and she was very happy to share her experience and answer any questions I had. She gave lots of ideas for reader development activities which I used in my interview and I’m pleased to say I got the job.
We have agreed to say in touch and it’s good to know there is someone I can turn to for advice. The other mentors I selected, you select three you would like to be matched with, were from academic libraries, another sector I am interested in finding out more about. Whilst this match came at the perfect time for me I’m sure I would have found it equally beneficial working with the other mentors and finding out about their roles and career path. I found this scheme particularly useful as the communication was carried out via email, which allowed me to fit it in around my other work and family commitments."