Sample Application Mentorship outline
If you’re mentoring a mentee for our application mentoring programme, this may be helpful for you (read more about our programmes, here). This outline gives you a sense of what mentors and mentees usually go over in their sessions, and can help to guide the mentorship.
One of the most important things in mentoring is to take some time to get to know your mentee, so that's what the first call is for! Throughout the call, if your mentee says something that you find particularly interesting, we recommend that you note this down so that you can encourage them to reference it later when they are writing their personal statements. 💬
To do before the call:
1) Think back to your own university journey and how you came to choose your university and subject.
2) Try to remember the barriers you faced when you were applying, to really put yourself in your mentee's shoes.
When we reach out to mentees we usually ask them to apply to Project Access with a subject they really care about to see if this is something they could see themselves studying at university. As a mentor, you can be there to help them get a better sense of what it would be like if they were to study their chosen subject by setting up some university-style tasks for them to do. This can lasts two or more calls, depending on what type of task you choose, or if they want to learn more. Some mentees even choose to reference the books they read or the problems they tackle when they write their personal statements.
1) Think of a university-style task to assign to your mentee over a period of time. This can be anything from an essay, a problem sheet or a shorter book review.
2) Make sure that they are able to access the material required to do the task. For example, if you’re assigning them an essay and they don’t have a library nearby, you may need to try to steer the reading toward online material that you can share with them. 😇
For this call, the main things to do are:
1) Think through some recommendations for summer experiences/activities to increase the chances of a successful application.
2) Dig out some of your favourite books, podcasts and documentaries so that they can use the summer to immerse themselves in their subject.
3) If you want, if your mentee has more time now that the term has ended, you can also suggest that your mentee write a practice essay or problem sheet that you can go over in your session. 🌻
STARTING THE PERSONAL STATEMENT
This is the first call on the personal statement, so in this call we assume that your mentee has not yet completed a first draft. If you want a more in-depth call on the personal statement, see the second personal statement sample session below.
The things to do before the call are:
1) Brainstorm some key points about personal statement writing.
2) Look through your notes from past calls to tailor your advice to your mentee's interests, passions and strengths. For example, if your mentee was talking passionately about something they liked about the subject they wanted to apply for in the introductory call, there might be something here that you can suggest for them to include in the personal statement. 📃
REVIEWING THE PERSONAL STATEMENT
For this call your mentee should have sent you a draft of their personal statement. The purpose of the call is to go over your overall thoughts and comments on their draft, as well as to map out some interview questions that could come up based on this personal statement (where relevant). The things to do before the call are:
1) Ensure that your mentee has written a first draft of their personal statement.
2) Spend some time noting down feedback on your mentee's personal statement. If you are unsure of how to do this, we have written a brief guide with our top tips, here.
3) Think up some questions you might ask in an interview if you were an interviewer, based on your mentee's personal statement.
4) Brainstorm other things that your mentee should consider incorporating into their personal statement. This can be anything else that they have done that you think is impressive and that they could include in their personal statement as well. ✍️
For this call you just need to familiarise yourself with the UCAS deadlines and refresh your memory of what needs to be filled in by having a browse through the website. ☑️
This call is about any subject tests your mentee might have to take for their application. In this call we'll be looking over a practice test, so it's important that your mentee has done a practice test beforehand. Test material can be found on the relevant university website.
1) Make sure you and your mentee have agreed on a practice test for them to do.
2) Share any revision tips from when you were studying for the tests (eg. which resources did you use, how did you prepare for the tests).
3) Set a date for your mentee to send you their practice test which leaves you time for look at it.
4) Note down feedback on the practice test your mentee has done. 🥇
This call is to give your mentee an introduction to interviews. To do before the call:
1) Think back to your own interview experience and think about what you found was the most helpful way to prepare. Read through our top tips, here, if you want inspiration.
2) Read through your mentee's personal statement to see what topics they mention there and which you think they'll be asked about.
3) Note down up to five relevant interview questions for you and your mentee to go through as a brief mock interview.
4) If you want, send your applicant our list of top tips to prepare for the mock interview in the link above. ✨
This is for holding mock interviews with your mentee. You do more than one of these if you think it would be helpful for your mentee. Have a look at our top three tips here, and see if you want to send these to your mentee ahead of time.
If you think it would be helpful, you could also try to have someone else who does the relevant course do a mock interview with your mentee (it’s ok that they’re not registered Project Access mentors, as long as you’re on the call as well). This can sometimes be helpful in order to help your mentee get a feel for what a real interview is like — and test their nerves when they don’t know the interviewer!
To do before the call:
1) Source or think of a set of interview questions for your mentee's subject that you think would make for a good mock interview. Some ways of doing this include thinking back to your own interviews, asking friends what they were asked, or using some tutorial questions. ☝️