Finding a mentor who can help you transition from university into your chosen industry can be invaluable when it comes to your future career.

A mentor could be someone who you already know, perhaps through Work-Based Learning – or someone who you don’t know who works in a role or sector that interests you, has come from a similar background to you or who is an experienced mentor and can help you move forward and who agrees to act as your mentor.

From helping you to grow your confidence, build your network and your industry knowledge, and explore your strengths and areas for development to providing in depth career insights and offering advice on your next steps, mentors can help you in a variety of ways.

So how do you find a mentor – and then make the most of the opportunity?

1. Understand Your Goals

Make sure that you have thought about what you hope to gain from a mentorship. Having a clear vision will guide your search and help you make the most of the experience. Remember that it’s OK if these goals change as your mentoring evolves though.

2. Role Models

You could consider individuals you admire or look up to in your field, those who have had an interesting career journey so far or those who have come from similar background to you. These could be role models, industry leaders, or successful professionals.

3. Network and Connect

Reach out to people within your personal and professional network. Attend networking events, conferences, and industry gatherings. These could be virtual or in person. LinkedIn is also a valuable platform for connecting with potential mentors.

4. Casual Professional Relationships

Form relationships with professionals in your industry. These connections don’t need to be formal mentorships right away. Start by engaging in conversations, asking questions, and showing genuine interest.

Ask for a Meeting

Once you’ve identified a potential mentor, ask for an initial meeting. A chat over a coffee or a video call is a low-commitment way to get to know each other. Use this opportunity to understand if they’re the right fit for you.

Nurture the Relationship

During your interactions, don’t focus solely on work-related topics. Take the time to connect on a personal level. After your meeting, send a thank you note to express gratitude for their time.

Maintain the Relationship

Keep your mentor updated on your progress. Show appreciation for their guidance and invest time in helping them as well. Demonstrating a return on their investment (their time) is crucial.

Check out these extra tips from a current mentor on his best experiences with his mentees (the people he mentors):

Be prepared before a networking event

Think about how you’ll approach potential employers and perhaps invest in some business cards – consider what information you’ll include, how you’d like it to look, and what impression you’d like it to make.


When you offer a business card to a student you don’t necessarily expect one back and yet, quick as a flash she handed me one of her own cards in return. It was beautifully simple and I remember it to this day. On the front it read: “My name is Juliette and I would love to work for your company” on the back were her contact details. What inspired genius! I’ve worked in sales for a long time but here was clearly someone who intuitively understood a lot about influencing skills and how to make a positive impression. I was struck by this proactive approach and thought that I would like to work with this student.

Do your research

If you’re attending an event where you know there’ll be people from your industry and possible mentors, take the time to look up any key speakers or attendees and consider which ones might be best suited to help you.

On our last mentoring session, after we’d finished the topic of the day and were wrapping up the mentoring season, thanking each other for enthusiastic participation etc I mentioned how happy I was that I had chosen her as a mentee. She frowned for the briefest of moments and then corrected me. “No, I chose you!” It transpired, she had heard about me from a previous mentee and had made up her mind that I was the mentor for her. So that whole chance introduction at the networking event and handing over of her business card had been stage-managed from the beginning! I was not a little flattered that someone would go to such lengths but also very impressed. Clearly someone who knew what she wanted and how to go about getting it.

Interested in connecting with a mentor? If so, why not start with one of the many free schemes aimed at supporting individuals to find a mentor? We work with MentorNect to provide students and graduates with the opportunity to connect with a mentor, so why not start with them?

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