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Careers and Employability Service


The IBM Mentoring Scheme for University of Kent students


For first-year students looking to do a placement as part of their degree or second year students considering life after University.

In 2016-17, IBM are going to be working with students at the University of Kent, mentoring first-year students looking to do a placement as part of their degree and second year students who will be applying for employment in their final year. There are a limited number of places available students so there will be a simple selection process which is outlined at the end of this email.

What is it? 

Comments for students who took part in the scheme

I have learnt a lot of useful things from the scheme. My mentor is amazing person who is always ready to guide you help as much as possible. I feel lucky to be within this scheme. She has advised me across all issues which did concern me before the scheme. After consistent cooperation with her I gained valuable knowledge regarding how to improve my employability. Moreover, the importantly I have secured a place for a summer insight program in PwC. I would have not been able to do that without her help.

Talking to someone who has relatively recently been where we are now has been very helpful as they understand the decisions we have to make and how overwhelming it can be. Having the mentor focus on areas we specifically want to improve or learn about has been extremely helpful and has provided me with the next steps to take towards my desired career.

I gained such a personal insight into not only IBM but the experience of work.

It helped me understand the process for the placement year.

I liked the idea of the scheme and the benefits that it could offer me to improve my employability skills and cv.

I liked being able to talk to someone in the industry and be able to ask questions I had, and them asking me questions making me think and consider certain points. I feel the scheme has benefited me by providing me with information and by being asked questions helped me to consider certain points and being able to talk to someone working in the industry was also a positive experience.

The aim of this scheme is to increase awareness of employability, the recruitment process, key competencies employers are looking for and advice/tips for securing a placement or graduate scheme position. The mentors will either be currently on the IBM placement scheme or will have joined as a graduate and will be encouraged to share their own experiences with their mentees. 

The scheme is not about encouraging you to join IBM but will give you valuable skills to apply successfully to any organisation.

Who is it for? 

First-year students looking to do a placement as part of their degree or second year students considering life after University. 

You can be studying for any degree subject and don't need to have advanced computing skills.


IBM is keen to encourage undergraduates to begin considering their careers sooner. We want to make students aware of how competitive today’s job market is and give them guidance on how best to promote themselves. This will give them the best chance of applying not just to our schemes but other employers’ too.

The scheme also provides students with a fantastic chance to improve and enhance their skillsets before they begin applying. It’s also the perfect opportunity for our existing graduates from the University to give something back to the community. With mentors from a variety of backgrounds and degrees volunteering as part of this project, there are plenty of stories to share.

How will it work? 

It will be a virtual mentoring scheme whereby the majority of contact with students is either via email, telephone or by Skype. Mentoring is a relationship, and communication between mentors and mentees is key.

Students who are selected will be encouraged to manage their relationship with their mentor, and use the time available to get the most they can from the scheme. Below are suggested activities that we would encourage you to work through with your Mentor, but you should feel free to adjust this with your Mentor if you have specific goals in mind.

When will it run? 

The scheme will run between November and April to ensure students get the best advice in time for the application process, as students are increasingly encouraged to start the process over the summer, without being disruptive to their exams.

Mentoring Programme Activities

Activity 1: Getting to know each other 
Activity 2: Goal setting
Activity 3: Competency framework
Activity 4: Careers planning

Activity 5: Communication skills and etiquette Activity 6: The Recruitment Process Activity 7: Final Meeting

How to apply.

Download the application form here

Submit your application to Bruce Woodcock with a copy of your CV

The students with the best answers will be selected to take part in the scheme.

The deadline for applications this year is Wednesday 22nd November, 2017



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