Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News & Blog > Get Involved with the Alumni Network > Mentoring > Guidance for those looking for mentors and advice

Guidance for those looking for mentors and advice

A how to guide for those looking for online mentoring and advice
Image: istock 1134320024
Image: istock 1134320024

What is the IDS online mentoring and advice programme?

The online mentoring and advice programme helps connect students to alumni, and alumni to alumni and is applicable to both those looking for a long-term mentor find one (we recommend initially 6 months) and for help with more specific queries. For example, help with relocating to a new country/region, preparing for an interview, writing an application, or getting industry specific help. Help with answering these kind of questions won’t necessarily include setting up a mentoring contract (although all the information to help you do this is available should you wish to set one up).

NB: For all types of help and advice IDS refers to those looking for help mentees and those offering help mentors. We also expect everyone using the IDS mentoring and advice programme to abide by the code of conduct outlined in the alumni-alumni mentoring code and the alumni-student code

Online Search

You need to login to this alumni website to use the online search and find members of the alumni network for careers and mentoring help. Once you are logged in go to the mentoring & careers page and you will see the mentoring and advice box (as below) near the top of the page.

The search results will only show those members who have volunteered to give advice and mentor. The results will not show people who have opted out of online mentoring, temporarily or permanently, mentors who have restricted their number of interactions and who have reached their limit, or people who do not meet the search criteria.

IDS Featured Mentors

If you see a match with Featured Mentor next to their name (like Sian Morley-Smith in the example above) this means that they are one of our most committed mentors (usually around 15-20 people at any time if you want to find out more about what it takes to be a Featured Mentor please see the criteria list). You can search only for Featured Mentors by selecting Yes in the Featured Mentors box in the search.


On clicking the messaging button you will be able to select the type of help you would like from a drop down (CV Review, Career guidance, Answer to specific questions, Industry/sector specific help, Interview prep, Mentor relationship, Returning to work, Setting up a business, Relocation). You can then type a personalised message to send to your potential mentor/advice giver.

Ensure that your message is clear and precise, check your spelling and ensure that what you have written will be understood by the recipient, and use the recipient’s name in the email.

Try and reference something specific, either something about their work, or perhaps something that you have in common, like you are both from the same city or region. 

Keep it short, don’t ask too many questions, and remember to ensure that your emails contain as much meaning as they would do if you were face to face with the person. 

Always say thank you; both at the end of the email and in any responses.

What Happens Next

Your message is sent to the alumni mentor via email, they have the option to accept or decline the invitation to connect with you. If they accept they will message you back, if not you will receive a message from the alumni website to let you know to try your search again.

Once a successful match is made you will be emailed a feedback form to complete.

We expect that your mentoring or advice seeking will be conducted primarily online, through email or other digital channels –like zoom, although there is the opportunity for a face to face meeting if you are in the same town or city.

Even if you are not expecting to have a 'traditional' mentor/meentee relationship you may find the the mentoring agreement useful to help you think through what advice you are asking for, and we expect everyone involved in the IDS mentoring and advice programme to abide by the codes of conduct (alumni/alumni code and alumni/student code)

Further Information:

Similar stories

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

Some guidance on what to expect/not expect from a mentoring relationship More...

Image: National Park Service- field of yellow wildflowers

IDS Yellow Monday (YM) is a weekly internal newsletter for current IDS Staff and Students. YM includes news, member trav… More...

Image: i-stock 1252420365

Find out how you can be a mentor for IDS students, PhD researchers and alumni More...

Image: 'Study' By Moyan Brenn CC-BY-2.0

Who are the IDS Alumni Advisory Committee? More...

Most read

Image from istock: 458474801

As events in Afghanistan continue to quickly unfold, Nandhini Jaishankar (MADev13) highlights the dark future of Afghan women's rights and freedoms. More...

Istock: 1199050340

Your art needed for the IDS exhibition: Diversity and representation through an equal and intimate lens More...

Image: Shafiq Mureed

Nasrat Esmaty (MAPov06) shares his thoughts on who is to blame for the collapse of the Islamic Republic of Aghanistan and what will happen next. More...

Submit your blog

This website is powered by