About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2467-2473
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain

MENTORSHIP - A LOST RESOURCE WITHIN HIGHER EDUCATION?

J. Lindström, M. Nordell

Åbo Akademi University, School of Business and Economics (FINLAND)
Mentoring is one of the oldest methods used for developing skills, learning new things and introducing new people in to social contexts or groups (e.g. Salminen & Suhonen, 2008). Mentoring, or mentorship, implies a learning or development process where a beginner or an inexperienced person gets help, support and guidance from a person with more knowledge and/or experience within a specific context. This process is often voluntary, involves a mutual understanding of the purpose and enables opportunities for mutual learning. In line with this, we define mentorship as a constructive relation between two individuals, a mentor and a mentee, where experiences and skills are exchanged with the purpose of enabling and encouraging personal development and mutual learning (see e.g. Westlander, 2008).

Mentorship in the context of higher education often refers to so-called peer mentoring, for example, older students welcoming new students into university studies, or older faculty members welcoming new researchers or teachers into the faculty. In this paper, however, we present a mentorship program where the mentors are alumnae who are currently working outside the university with varying backgrounds, experiences and jobs. The mentees are master students that are about to graduate in one to two years’ time and who wants help and support with moving on from university studies into working life.

This paper describes the program as a whole, the activities connected to the program and feedback and experiences from both mentors and mentees who have taken part of the program for the past two years. Furthermore, we discuss the future development of this particular program, as well as opportunities that the method of mentoring could offer higher education also in a wider sense. Based on the empirical findings in this paper, we believe mentorship programs could greatly help students create their own professional network already while studying, and offer them a better insight into the requirements of and the capabilities and skills sought after on the employer market. The mentorship program can also help students complete skillsets in addition to what the traditional education can offer, that is needed in the working life today. We also see this kind of activities motivating students to graduate on time, as the transition from university studies to working life is made easier.
@InProceedings{LINDSTROM2015MEN,
author = {Lindstr{\"{o}}m, J. and Nordell, M.},
title = {MENTORSHIP - A LOST RESOURCE WITHIN HIGHER EDUCATION?},
series = {9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-5763-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {2-4 March, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {2467-2473}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Lindström AU - M. Nordell
TI - MENTORSHIP - A LOST RESOURCE WITHIN HIGHER EDUCATION?
SN - 978-84-606-5763-7/2340-1079
PY - 2015
Y1 - 2-4 March, 2015
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2015 Proceedings
SP - 2467
EP - 2473
ER -
J. Lindström, M. Nordell (2015) MENTORSHIP - A LOST RESOURCE WITHIN HIGHER EDUCATION?, INTED2015 Proceedings, pp. 2467-2473.
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