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Oxford Brookes University

UK universities growing global graduates

Developing long term careers through mentoring

“I have had a great experience through the Bacchus mentoring programme. Being an international student, being able to ask, discuss and learn openly about cultural differences and conventions has been important.” Linda, BSc International Hospitality Management

“Completely invaluable experience”

“Great networking and contacts”

“I believe that having mentors is crucial to anyone’s success in an industry”

Students’ feedback on the programme

Mentoring is an effective way to facilitate students’ transitions into work after university and to build social capital. The Bacchus Mentoring Programme was developed by Oxford Brookes University to help students build long term careers in the hospitality industry.

The main benefits reported by students of mentoring are greater industry knowledge, better understanding of industry opportunities, an enhanced professional network and external support for their career.

The management and clear structure of the programme is central to its success with over 100 mentors, including many alumni, each mentoring one student during their final year of study. The programme has four stages, matching, preparation and training, interaction and evaluation.

Bacchus Mentoring Launch 2011 from OBU Faculty of Business on Vimeo.

Training sessions and support materials are provided covering all aspects from setting expectations and outlining roles, to giving feedback, asking good questions and personal reflection. This enables mentors and mentees to make the most of the opportunity. There is an initial meeting and networking event, after which contact is recommended at least once a month. As a basic programme structure it is suggested that four key activities are covered; CV discussion and feedback, interview experience and feedback, a workplace visit or attendance at a networking event together and discussion and feedback of the mentees career plan.

Our research shows that Alliance Tourism and Hospitality students had higher expectations of careers advice and support, placement opportunities and opportunities to meet employers than students on the same course. Less than 1 in 20 had no expectation of support compared with 1 in 10 across the UK. Two thirds expected placement opportunities as part of their Alliance course compared with a global average of less than half.

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