Student receiving help from the Careers & Employability Service

11 March 2021

4 min read

Over 40 students are benefitting from experience of the workplace through a mentoring scheme with local IBM professionals.

Coordinated by the University’s Careers and Employability Service, the IBM Career Mentoring Scheme matches students with a range of IBM staff to learn more about business environments. Students increase their confidence and knowledge of the working world by learning to set agendas for meetings, working on their CVs, practising interview skills, setting goals, and building a working relationship with their IBM mentor.

The scheme is in its seventh year - and continues to offer valuable development opportunities despite the Covid pandemic. 41 first year students from a range of courses are meeting with their IBM mentor virtually at least monthly until the end of May.

As well as providing an opportunity to develop employability skills, the scheme has also helped students with their studies during lockdown.

Mwangala Sikwibele, a BA Hons Accounting with Finance student (right) is a mentee on the programme. She said: “From this mentorship, I've learned to celebrate and appreciate my small triumphs alongside my large ones during my academic journey. It has taught me to be practical about my studying sessions and how to curate an environment where I can actively engage with the content and produce quality work.”

Alison Slater, IBM North Harbour CSR Manager added: “I am really proud that IBM is able to support the 2021 UOP/IBM Mentoring Scheme during a challenging time for everyone. It is such a rewarding programme that benefits both the IBM mentors and UOP mentees.

“IBM mentors are able to grow their communication skills and reflect on their careers. They are able to help nurture and develop the potential of their mentee with one to one tailored meetings. Mentees gain the opportunity to grow their employability skills, confidence and knowledge of the workplace. It is such a valuable programme for all involved and we are super excited to be able to partner with the University of Portsmouth.”

Mwangala Sikwibele

Find out more about the support offered by the University’s Careers & Employability Service.