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Getting ahead of the game- two new mentoring schemes

21 February 2013

Mentors and students pictured at Law matching event in Headington Hill Hall

Mentors and students pictured at Law matching event in Headington Hill Hall

Students are now able to get real hands on experience within the Law and Real Estate programmes. They are both voluntary schemes but they have been taken up with great enthusiasm by both mentees and mentors. The benefits to students are great from increasing employability through work experience and job shadowing to practical skills like CV writing, interview skills and of course great networking opportunities.

The Legal Practice Course which is a one year course for students who want to go on to become solicitors have currently got 46 mentors matched with one or two students. The mentors are often Oxford Brookes alumni who have had a good experience at Brookes and want to give back.

Mentor Jo Lyall '11, trainee solicitor at Manches LLP explained "My primary reason for joining the Brookes mentoring scheme was that I had an excellent, albeit informal, mentor whilst I was completing my own legal training. Now that I'm in a position to do so, I wanted to have the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience of the training process with students who might benefit from it.”

Student Katherine Hague said “My mentor has been able to give me insightful guidance and constructive criticism that I may not have been able to get elsewhere”.

Another student Callie Matthews commentedThe scheme is a brilliant initiative and has given me the chance to really find out what firms are looking for and the best way to present myself to them”.

"Mentoring as a power tool", said David Day Programme Lead for Professional Law Programmes, he hopes to roll out the programme to the GDL undergraduate law programme in 2014 and is also interested in exploring peer mentoring.

The other successful mentoring programme that started this year for Real Estate students is the Oxford Brookes Real Estate Mentoring Scheme which works in conjunction with OBREMS (Oxford Brookes Real Estate Management Society)

It is being led by Principal Lecturer Gina Dalton and Rachel Dixon (Special Projects Administrator). They launched on February 19 at an event (pictured below) hosted by Jones Lang LaSalle in London.

Rachel said Launching this new scheme is very exciting because it will give our students a great opportunity to see the property industry from the inside and share knowledge, issues and experiences with their mentor. If the enthusiasm of the mentors is anything to go by, the students are in for an amazing experience that will be hugely beneficial when they start applying for jobs in their final year.”

The programme makes use of social media, particularly Linked In, which the students are using to view the profiles of mentors before making their selection. Students are required to create their own online profile using LinkedIn which gives them practice at presenting themselves professionally right from the start, and is also great for networking later on.

A student commented on the scheme “I would like the opportunity to be a part of the OBREMS Mentoring Scheme as I understand it is important to try and build up connections within the industry.  I am aware a great deal of the real estate industry is based networking and making connections within the industry which is where I lack. This opportunity would open doors to building up connections within the industry.”

Gina and her team want to keep the scheme small and flexible with just 20 mentors and 20 mentees in the first year to ensure commitment from both sides. She thanks OBREMS, the Real Estate alumni society for helping recruit the mentors and hopes these professional links will continue to flourish.