University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education
Publication statusIn preparation - 8 Dec 2021

Abstract

Peer mentoring is known to enhance the student experience of mentees at university, particularly during transition to undergraduate study. However, little is known of the impact on outcomes for the mentors. This research trialled and evaluated a one-year employability mentoring programme, embedded within a postgraduate taught module at a UK Business School in 2019-20, to investigate whether being a peer-mentor developed the employability skills of the mentors. Group peer-mentoring was embedded in the Level 7 Professional Consultancy Skills module, along with an associated credit-bearing assessment. To identify the impact of this embedded mentoring approach, the researchers conducted a survey with all students on the module (a total of 150 postgraduate student mentors) and mentors submitted reflective logs of their mentoring sessions. Based on the surveys and reflective logs, different factors within mentoring were identified as affecting the development of postgraduate students’ employability skills. In the findings, this paper identifies employability factors including communication skills, planning and organisational skills, problem-solving skills, and others, eagerly sought by graduate employers, which can be developed through peer mentoring. During the analysis of the surveys the researchers also identify factors within the mentoring relationship which can impede the development of such employability skills. This research demonstrates a replicable method of developing employability skills amongst postgraduate students through embedding assessed peer-mentoring in postgraduate education. Limitations to the success of a mentoring pair/group are discussed, and a framework is offered to overcome such challenges in any future iteration.

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