E-mentoring sets students on the right path


Posted on Thursday 19 December 2013
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Mentee Paige Deakin

Mentors and students taking part in the Trust’s first e-mentoring scheme finally met face-to-face at an NHS careers fair.

The event at St Thomas’ on 12 December marks the conclusion of the scheme that saw 46 staff paired with pupils from local schools.

Mentors offered online advice to students making important choices about their future career. Mentors also helped with practical tasks such as CV writing and filling in university application forms.

Many students said the e-mentoring scheme helped them focus on the path they want to take, and what they need to do to accomplish their goals.

Paige Deakin, from the City of London Academy in Southwark, says: “Anyone thinking of joining the scheme should definitely give it a go. The mentors can provide so much information about the type of careers you can do.

Rachel Ogunbayo, from St Martin’s School in Lambeth, says: “I took part in the scheme because I wasn’t sure what career I wanted to pursue.

“Now I want to go to the University of Aberdeen to study neuroscience and psychology. I don’t think I’d ever have come to that decision if I hadn’t gone on the scheme. Now I know what I need to do to get where I want to be.”

About 250 Trust staff applied to become mentors and those chosen received training before being assigned a student.

Senior physicist Fiametta Fedele says: “It brings you back to the years when you were making these choices about your life. We are quite lucky here at the Trust. There is a lot for staff to do so we are in a good position to suggest NHS careers to young people.”

Fiametta says the training helped allay her initial nervousness at the prospect of supporting young people at such a critical time.

“Because it was the first time I was mentoring someone so young it was quite scary at first – I didn’t want to tell them the wrong thing.But I calmed down after our first training session because after that I could see the boundaries.”

Each mentor had their own reasons for getting involved.

Medical registrar Thomas Simpson says: “It’s really important to do it for the local community. I’ve worked in hospitals where there is a disconnect between the hospital and the local people and it makes work much more difficult because patients and their families don’t always trust you.”

The scheme was organised by Guy’s and St Thomas’ in partnership with NHS Careers, Inspiring the Future, and The Brightside Trust, a charity helping young people realise their potential.

The Trust is running the scheme again in January and April.

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