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Monday 15 June 2015

Annual mentoring celebration highlights student achievement

The annual Southampton Solent University Mentoring Celebration was an inspiring afternoon for students and graduates.

Taking place at Southampton Solent University Conference Centre, and hosted by the Employability and Enterprise Team, the event aimed to thank and recognise the contribution of businesses, students and recent graduates to the success of this year’s programme.

Over the course of six months local employer mentors provide student mentees with work related personal advice, practical employability skills and industry-specific information.

Every year a range of individuals and organisations give their time regularly and freely to become a “professional friend” to their mentee.

This year 85 mentors and 102 mentees participated in the programme, which includes a formal training element.

In addition to the more traditional one-to-one support, some participating organisations such as E3 Consulting, Carnival UK, Old Mutual Wealth, Ordnance Survey and Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity have taken a group mentoring approach, and provided workshops to support employability needs.

These workshops covered topics such as networking, CVs and application and interview skills. Furthermore, some companies have also supported our students and recent graduates at various networking events and our Placement, Leavers’ and Creative conferences.

The audience heard about the mentee journey and learning about the UK business culture from Georgi Ivanov, postgraduate Marketing Management student from Bulgaria.

Additionally mentors Frank Somers and Bob Dixon of Carnival UK and Caroline Anson from Hampshire Constabulary spoke about their experiences and how it is always a “two way learning process.”

A toast was raised to thank all involved and all mentees and mentor were given a certificate to recognise their achievement in successfully completing the programme. Mentor and Mentee of the Year awards were presented to individual participants, in addition to special recognition awards for local businesses. The winners this year were:

Mentor of the yearVictoria Odey, Hampshire Chambers of Commerce

Her mentee said, “She was flexible, making sure we continued to communicate even at the busiest times. She helped me explore different options and opportunities, gave me endless support and advice. Best of all she helped me develop industry contacts and enabled me to secure a social media marketing role”

Elizabeth Selby – Dean of Learning and Information Services, Victoria Odey – Hampshire Chambers of Commerce and Mentor of the Year 2014/15

Mentee of the year: Emily Alcock, BA (hons) Business Management, final year

Emily’s mentor was from Hampshire Constabulary and said: “She was always willing to address the key issues. She wasn’t intimidated by people or processes and used her previous work experience and focussed on the outcome ahead. She gained a great place on the JP Morgan Graduate Scheme that will see her flying around the world over the next two years.”

Elizabeth Selby – Dean of Learning and Information Services, Emily Alcock – BA (hons) Business Management – Mentee of the Year

Outstanding Contribution 2015: Carnival UK (received by Bob Dixon, General Manager – EMEA Sales, and Frank Somers, Solutions Architect)

Frank Somers, Carnival UK -receiving ‘outstanding contribution award’, Elizabeth Selby – Dean of Learning and Information Services, Box Dixon Carnival UK – receiving ‘outstanding contribution award’

Outstanding Contribution: E3 consulting (received by Zoe Toseland, Marketing Administrator & Ian Barwick, Research Administrator)

Elizabeth Selby – Dean of Learning and Information Services, Zoe Toseland – E3 Consulting – receiving ‘outstanding contribution award’, Ian Barwick – E3 Consulting – receiving ‘outstanding contribution award’

The awards were presented by Elizabeth Selby, Dean of the Learning and Information Service, who thanked all mentors and mentees for their incredible contribution and involvement in the project.

Rosy Jones, Head of Employability and Enterprise shared information about the impact and successes of the project and how being involved increases student employability and employment outcomes.

Students, graduates or colleagues who are interested in taking part in the 2015/16 mentoring programme, should contact