The UK and Ireland Section will introduce a Mentoring Program later this year as a free member benefit, intended especially for Graduate Student and Young Professional members.
The aims of the new program are:
- to provide support and guidance to younger members seeking employment or in the early stages of careers in industry
- to fulfil industry’s need to achieve high levels of competence for its workforce.
The team of mentors will comprise IEEE members with recent industrial or business experience, drawn from companies in the UK and Ireland. Members wishing to enrol in the new service will be able to apply to the Program Organising Committee. Clients of the service will be registered for a series of interviews with a mentor that can be conducted either in-person or online. The Committee will assign a mentor to the client, taking account of the nature of their employment and their background.
The total number of sessions offered will be limited to two, in the first instance, and extended further according to the personal circumstances of the client and the progress achieved.IEEE will provide professional indemnification for all participants. All interviews will be conducted on a strictly confidential basis. Only IEEE members in good standing will be eligible to enrol in the scheme.
The scope of the mentoring service will be similar to that available from the IEEE online Mentor Center and the Career Navigator series of guides produced by IEEE-USA. The very comprehensive list of modules available through the IEEE Continuing Education program extends this coverage into both technical and non-technical areas.
The topics include:
- job searching
- career planning
- choice of employment sector
- the recruitment process (job applications, interviewing techniques, and cv writing)
- induction and initial training practices
- project management, appraisal and promotion issues
- skills acquisition and
- professional development
The Mentoring Program should attract special interest from Young Professional members, many of whom change jobs frequently in the early phases of their career. This group, which includes entrepreneurs engaged in start-ups, for example, normally lacks access to the counselling and advice that workers in full-time employment in established companies enjoy. For this latter group the new service would supplement what they can access within their own company.
The Organising Committee recognises that it will be essential to match the expertise of the mentors with the interests of their clients. It is intended that the recruitment of mentors would ensure that a wide range of industry experience is available, to make matching a feasible aspect of the service.
Continuous monitoring of the effectiveness of the service, including feedback from clients, will be carried out via a dedicated website. In the early stages, after its introduction, further consultation on the best way to deliver the service will be implemented. Feedback from our industry partners will also be welcomed, to make sure that the mentoring service is meeting the goal of equipping members with the right skill-set needed to achieve success in engineering employment. Regular web-based meetings will be organised to allow members to comment on the style and content of the service.
Regular reports will be submitted to the Section Chair and Executive Committee. Data on the number of clients and the feedback received will be reviewed by the Organising Committee on a quarterly basis. The Section Executive Committee invites interested members with appropriate industrial and business experience to contact the Chair (Prof Ali Hessami) about joining the team of mentors.