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Career mentor programme

A mentor can support you in your career development and ease your transition from university to a career outside of academia by bringing you closer to the business community.

The mentor programme AU Mentor PhD is a long term relation; not just a one-off meeting. Over eight months, your mentor will provide you with insights into his or her experiences with the job market outside academia, job search and similar. They can also be a sounding board to your questions and ideas regarding qualifications, career direction, networking and competence development.

Why get a mentor?

The most important thing you can get out of the mentoring relationship is the chance to discuss issues with an independent third party. You can talk to your mentor about topics that may be difficult, awkward or impossible to discuss with friends, family, colleagues, your boss or your partner/husband/wife. Having an external, neutral person to discuss certain issues with can be easier, because they are not personally involved. Other main benefits are:

  • Personal development
  • An opportunity to be challenged and to receive feedback
  • Encouragement and support in what you do
  • The chance to gain insight into a particular industry, position or professional qualification
  • Expanded professional and personal networks

Source: ’The Mentoring Journey’

What are the requirements?

The mentor programme is a long-term relation. You should not get a mentor just to get feedback on your CV and cover letters. Before you apply for a mentor, please consider if your needs might be met by our individual counselling or participation in our career events. 

To become a mentee, you must:

  • Be a PhD student at Aarhus University
  • Have a maximum of 3 years and a minimum of 6 months left of your PhD by the application deadline (15 August)
  • Participate in the introductory briefing
  • Show commitment and engagement in your role as a mentee
  • Prioritize meetings with your mentor
  • Be open to honest discussion and feedback from your mentor
  • Participate in 4 meetings during the program’s 8 months
  • Consider whether your needs might be met by career events or individual counselling.

What is it like to have a mentor?

The mentoring relationship consists of mentors and mentees with mutual interests and is based on trust and confidentiality between you and your mentor. It can therefore be terminated at any time, if either of you wishes to do so.

It is the experiences which the mentor has gained with regards to his or her own career that make up the foundation of the mentor relationship.

What is the timeline for the mentor programme?

If you have any questions, please contact us at career.phd@au.dk. 

What do former mentees say?

Erika Vigna

PhD in iNano/Chemistry

Team lead at Siemens Gamesa

Erika is currently a part of our mentor programme as a mentor. However, Erika was once a mentee herself. Here she shares her experiences as a mentee and how her mentor played an important role in both her professional and personal development.

I registered for the mentor programme as I  was not sure how I would "sell myself" in a new environment different from academia.

At the beginning, my biggest concern was that every job posting seemed not to match with my competences and that made me upset. My mentor guided me through the job ads and explained where I should see myself fitting in. We went through the most common questions for interviews, and he helped me understand what the best ways to formulate answers were. We looked at some of my job applications and further discussed possible interview questions.

My mentor was just great! He always found the right words when explaining to me how I could match my profile when looking at job ads as well as provide the right input while correcting CV and cover letters. Last but not least, he shared some of his previous experiences in job interviews that somehow prepared me for what types of situations could occur in a job interview.  

I think that having my mentor’s guidance and coaching did help me a lot in getting a job. Without him, it would have been a lot more difficult.