Mentoring and Coaching
The School Engagement Project was established in 2015, marking a fundamental commitment by our Business School to engage with communities in London, developing our students’ awareness of challenges in society and to provide an education that is responsible, ethical and will enhance their employment prospects
The Mentoring and Coaching for Leadership module is an elective module available to 3rd year Business Management students and 2nd year Accounting and Finance and Actuarial Science students. The module is compulsory for BSc Business Management with Social Purpose students.
There are 2 pathways available – students can either mentor pupils aged 15 – 17 in local schools or mentor 1st year students at the Business School. This is hugely beneficial for students who aim to be managers and leaders in business. Over the next 10 years, more jobs will be replaced by automation or Artificial Intelligence, yet being an effective communicator and influencer will always be of immense value to employers.
In addition to helping graduates stand out from other candidates, the resilience, adaptability and empathy gained through mentoring and coaching will provide students with a deeper understanding of the close integration between business and society, helping them to make better decisions in their own working lives over the long term as more successful and responsible business leaders.
In 2017, the Business School became a UN PRME Champion institution, the only one in London. This is recognition that we are one of the 39 out of 4000 Business Schools globally with an enhanced commitment to developing and sharing best practice in responsible management education (RME).
Why did you choose the module?
I decided to choose the Mentoring and Coaching module as it offered many benefits that were completely different and unique from other modules. The module takes a much more ‘hands on’ and practical approach than most other subjects, which allowed for us to put we have learnt into action. We were given the opportunity to provide help to our mentees, sharing our experiences and providing our perspectives on a variety of subjects. It was clear that this module would involve a lot of group work, with and a chance for more in-lecture activities rather than merely working on theory. This seemed like a wonderful opportunity, and I am extremely glad to have taken it!
What was your experience of mentoring and coaching and who did you mentor/coach?
Overall, taking part in the mentoring and coaching module was a great experience! I had been taught many different skills that I would not have learnt through my other subjects. The sessions were extremely valuable and practical as we did a large amount of mentoring work in the sessions, along with a range of group activities. In the first term I mentored and coached some of my classmates during lecture time, and in the second term I mentored a first year Finance student at the Business School. My experience mentoring her was great as we easily built rapport and common ground as well as establishing her goals and how to go about them - it was an extremely fulfilling experience to give time to help and support another student!
What did you gain from the experience?
There were many valuable skills and lessons I gained from the mentoring and coaching experience. I was able to improve my planning skills (particularly for the sessions), and I am now able to exercise restraint much more effectively, which is something that I would usually struggle to accomplish. This module has taught me how to execute goals along with planning, and I have gained much more practical experience at university thanks to this module and the dedication of our tutors!
What did the students gain from the experience?
As a group, we were given the opportunity to gain observation skills, particularly in our practice sessions, and were taught how to establish rapport which included making others feel open and comfortable with sharing personal matters throughout the session. We were taught how to actively listen to our mentees, as well as improving our ability to summarise which was an extremely valuable experience!
If there’s one thing about the module that sticks in your memory, what is it?
I felt that the most memorable aspect of the module was being able to take part in a range of meaningful group activities. In particular, we were required to stand around the room, each asking questions to our classmates that “required them to think” - this was a very simple, yet memorable task, which led to some deep and moving conversations. This was one of my favourite in-lecture activities!
How you think the module will help you in your future career?
This module taught us how to communicate effectively with our colleagues, along with applying our knowledge to a variety of situations, all of which contribute to an effective future career. It is evident that the workplace requires employees to put their knowledge into practice, and as a manager, this module would help to understand employees (i.e. how they can reach their targets in relation to organisation goals).
Why do you think this module is important?
This module is extremely important as it builds understanding, empathy and improves communication skills (especially regarding serious subjects as well as light-hearted subjects). Above all, this module has taught us life skills!! Whilst many modules at university are theory based, the mentoring and coaching module has provided a practical experience - something which is not often used in teaching.
Having taken part in the Mentoring and Coaching module, I would highly recommend that every student get involved in the module. As well as giving me the opportunity to pass on knowledge and experience to kids at a local school, it also provided me with a fresh approach to my education in Business Management. It facilitates a more practical and interactive way of learning which is unique to this module.
The overall experience of mentoring and coaching was an incredibly rewarding one as I mentored two Year 10 pupils from a local school. Initially it was quite a challenge trying to build rapport with them however thanks to the preparation and support given to us by Sylvia, Liz, Rob and Leslie, I was confident in my ability to gain their trust and develop our mentor-mentee relationship. Even though it took two sessions to do this, it was absolutely worth taking the time to establish that rapport as it resulted in the mentees feeling a lot more comfortable around me as well as being more open and willing to participate in the sessions. I worked with my mentees to help them to determine their own personal goals and realistic actions plans. Further to this, by writing weekly reflections I was truly able to analyse and assess my own weekly performances and work on ways to improve my coaching abilities. However, the best thing about this module has to be seeing your mentee finally achieving or gaining something out of the sessions.
One of the main positives with this module is how I still managed to learn a lot even though it was not as theory based as other modules. Due to the hands on, practical nature of the module, I learned how to construct effective plans which consider the needs of different people, while also recognising which mentoring and communication techniques would be best for each situation. Finally, this module has taught me that there is no perfect strategy when it comes to mentoring or guiding people. You have to actively listen and adapt to each person individually and work out accordingly which strategy is best.
When it comes to my career, the Mentoring and Coaching module has helped me develop many interpersonal skills such as active listening, showing empathy and the ability to empower people. These are skills that will certainly benefit me in my future career in knowing both what to look for in a good mentor and then, further along in my career, how to be an effective mentor for others. Taking this module has taught me the invaluable impact a good mentor can have as well as the rewarding nature of being a mentor to others.
Mentoring and Coaching is a great module to take as an elective. The module has helped me developed my skills and provided me with great experiences with not only my mentees but my fellow students and lecturers. Sylvia, Liz, Rob and Leslie are always there to provide support and reassurance if you need them and they planned a module that is both fulfilling and enjoyable.