The employers’ reach: mentoring undergraduate students to enhance employability

Hyams-Ssekasi, Denis ORCID: 0000-0002-5022-1210 and Caldwell, Elizabeth (2019) The employers’ reach: mentoring undergraduate students to enhance employability. In: Snowden, M. and Halsall, J., (eds.) Mentorship, Leadership, and Research :Their Place within the Social Science Curriculum. International Perspectives on Social Policy, Administration, and Practice . Springer, pp. 47-59. ISBN 978-3-319-95447-9

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Official URL: https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319954462

Abstract

The increased need for supporting students who lack relevant employability skills has resulted in higher education institutions organizing mentoring schemes that will prepare students for future career opportunities. These schemes aim to address the often cited mismatch between what the higher education (HE) sector is offering and the employers’ expectations of future graduates. In addition, such schemes can also go some way to addressing the differential outcomes in graduate employability experienced by students from ‘non-traditional’ backgrounds (Mountford-Zimdars, A., Sanders, J., Moore, J., Sabri, D., Jones, S., & Higham, L. (2016). What can universities do to support all their students to progress successfully throughout their time at university? Perspectives, policy and practice in higher education, pp. 1–10). A number of authors have linked concepts of social and cultural capital to the benefits mentoring schemes can bring to individuals’ employability. For example, mentoring relationships can help individuals develop a professional identity and networks. This chapter presents a case study of a mentoring scheme that was run over a number of years, where undergraduate students were mentored by industry professionals. In the initial phases of the project, a key issue emerged for the students, which was a lack of confidence that hindered them in interacting with their mentors. Over time, the scheme was redesigned to include supported and facilitated opportunities for students and mentors to engage with each other. This resulted in more productive mentoring relationships forming, and students gaining lasting impact from the process in terms of enhanced professional networks, increased confidence and insight into the ‘real world’ of senior management. During our experience of this project, we have found the concepts of social and cultural capital useful for conceptualizing the benefits of mentoring for enhancing employability, but also for understanding the barriers to engagement with such schemes that some groups of students face.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: engagement, employability, graduate, mentoring, skills
Divisions: Institute of Management
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2018 07:53
Last Modified: 16 May 2019 10:21
Identification Number: 10.1007/978-3-319-95447-9_4
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/1982

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