WELCOME TO THE MENTEE PORTAL! 🎉
When you’ve been paired with your mentor, you can check in here to find out everything you need to know in the process, and to get our best tips for structuring a good mentorship that works for you.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT? 🤔
Project Access mentors are asked to give about one hour per month to each of the applicants that they help. This can be done via online calls or through email, but we recommend that mentors and applicants try to call each other when they can, as this is more efficient time-wise.
At the start of the mentorship, we recommend that you spend some time learning more about the course that you’re interested in so that you can see if it is for you. You can, for example, ask your mentor to give you a university-style assignment that you complete and then review together. Having done this will also be helpful for writing your personal statement later on. After this, closer to the summer, we recommend focussing on more application related things, like how best to spend the summer to gain relevant experience which you can mention in the personal statement, and then later on, producing a first draft of the personal statement for your mentor to review.
When you are paired with your mentor, you will be asked to write a first email to introduce yourself. You can find template emails for what this can look like in the section 'Reaching out to my mentor’, below.
HOW SHOULD I BEHAVE TOWARDS MY MENTOR? 👋🏿
Having a mentor is a bit like having an older friend who knows what it’s like to apply to the university of your choice because they’ve just done it themselves. Your mentor will be able to answer most the questions you have about the application process for which you cannot find the answer yourself. Do remember, though, that not even the best of mentors can know everything and sometimes you’ll have to look things up yourself. Do also keep trusting your own judgement. If you think that something your mentor says may be incorrect, look it up yourself or reach out to the Project Access team. Even mentors can have the wrong information sometimes! Most of the time, however, you’ll find that they offer valuable insights into university life and the application process that you couldn’t get elsewhere.
All our mentors are volunteers, so they’re choosing to mentor simply because they care about helping widening access to their universities. Please keep a friendly tone and show that you appreciate their effort by being respectful of their time by being on time for meetings and letting them know in advance if you can’t make it.
If you’re having any problems or struggling to get a reply from a mentor, please get in touch with us and we’ll be able to sort everything out. We also ask that, in the even that you choose not to apply to university or to the university you specified in the sign-up form, you let us know so that we can inform your mentor.
REACHING OUT TO YOUR MENTOR 📬
We ask mentees to write the first email is because we want you to feel ownership of the mentorship process and feel like you can structure it according to your own needs and preferences.
We’ve written out a template email here to guide you on your way. Please feel free to change it as you wish though. The template below is just to give you an idea of what that initial email to your mentor can look like.
The italics are where we think it would be nice for you to personalise the email a bit.
First of all I’d like to say thank you for volunteering your time with Project Access. It is great to know that there is someone out there who wants to provide personal support for me during my application! I really appreciate that you’re taking the time.
My name is your name and I come from place. I currently study A-level subjects at school. Most of all I would like to study course at university but I’ve also considered other options. The reason I’m so interested in this is primarily interest in subject, and other things you find interesting about the idea of studying this course at university.
At the moment, I’m mostly keen to learn more about what it’s like to study course at university. Perhaps we could start by going through something you're working on at university so I can learn more about it?
When it comes to the application, the elements I think I will need most support on are the things you think are most important for you to work on.
I hope we can find a time to speak soon. Perhaps we could do the same day and time every month so that we can schedule the calls in advance? For me weekday at time (for example, Mondays at 5pm, Tuesdays at 7pm or Fridays at 4pm) are the most convenient. Would either of those times work for you?
I look forward to getting started!
Best wishes from your new mentee,
BEST PRACTICES 🙋♀️
Agree on a regular meeting time with your mentor for calls once a month and then put them in your diary.
Copy in firstname.lastname@example.org in all email correspondence with your mentor. This is really important for making sure the mentorship is tracked in our system. Otherwise you and your mentor may get all kinds of reminders from us pestering you about having calls...
Use the system appear.in for calls so that we can pop in and say hello. It also makes it easier to coordinate than using Skype where you have to find each other’s usernames. If appear.in doesn’t work for you, do get in touch with Anna at the helpdesk so she can help out.
To make the most of a mentorship call, always have a think before the call to see if you have any questions or think about what you are most worried about so that you can bring this up with your mentor.
Always show up between five and two minutes early for a mentorship meeting. This will give you a minute to settle and have a nice and productive meeting with your mentor.
Fill in any surveys that we send you from Project Access. This programme is funded by our university partners, and they really want to know how we’re doing and whether the programme is helpful to you. We promise not to send you surveys that are unnecessary, so anything we send you will be really important for our work. We use a platform called ImpactEd for collecting data. Please do take a few minutes to fill these in when you get them.
Email the helpdesk at any time if you have questions or thoughts: email@example.com