Industry Mentors’ Network (IMN)

It is a mentoring programme where an industry practitioner (mentor) provides professional and industry guidance to a small group of 2 to 4 students to help them in their personal growth and development, particularly in careers.

Industry-Mentor-Isometric

The Industry Mentors’ Network IMN-Logo-SP

The IMN aims to assign each student a mentor to give him:

Headstart

A head start to career exploration and workplace exposure

Real-world

An added dimension of real world learning over and above curriculum and internship

Route

To help him chart out the pathway towards his aspirations

Desired Outcomes

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Mentor

Mentor

Derives satisfaction from investing in others

Gains opportunity to reflect on experience

Has a platform to understand motivations of younger generation

Bgtwo
Student

Student

Receive career exploration and workplace exposure to chart parthways towards his aspirations

Real World Learning

Get connected to contacts and opportunities

Bgther
Company

Companies

Raise awareness and enhance perception of industry

Help manpower recruitment and retention

Gather innovative ideas and perspectives

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Singapore-Poly

Polytechnics

Deepend students’ skills and commitment in sectors they were trained for

Strengthen polytechnics-industry partnerships and collaborations

How does it Work?

Mentorship-Network

Each mentor from the industry can take care of 4 students. They are obliged to meet at least twice in the year, and engage each other on an online platform like Whatsapp. There will be a Liaison Officer from the school taking care of the students.

Mentor-Description

Join our industry mentorship programme to experience noble change and make a lasting impact on tomorrows entrepreneur.

Terms of Engagement

Mentor-Terms

1. Introduction

Launched in 2015, SkillsFuture is a national movement that aims to provide opportunities for every citizen to develop their fullest potential throughout life, regardless of their starting points.  At the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), this movement begins with the strengthening of Education and Career Guidance (ECG) so that students are better equipped to make well-informed education and career choices.

Industry Mentors’ Network

It is against the backdrop of SkillsFuture that the Industry Mentors’ Network (IMN) was conceived.  The IMN is a mentoring programme where an industry practitioner (mentor) provides professional and industry guidance to a group of 2 to 4 students to help them in their personal growth and development, particularly in the area of careers.

It is believed that through IMN, every student will have an industry mentor during his/her polytechnic days (and possibly beyond) for

  • a head start to career exploration and workplace exposure; and
  • an added dimension of real world learning over and above curriculum and internship

so as to help him/her chart the pathways towards his/her aspirations.

This programme is run as a collaboration between Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, and Temasek Polytechnic.

Through the mentoring relationships with industry practitioners, students are also kept aware of job and career growth opportunities in the industries for which they are being trained. Students will be encouraged to reflect on what they hope to accomplish at Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and beyond, and the pathways to get there.

2. Objectives

The IMN aims to:

  1. deepen students’ understanding and commitment in sectors they are trained for;
  2. broaden students’ perspectives on career opportunities and assist them to reach their career aspirations;
  3. enhance networking opportunities for students and develop their confidence in communicating with experienced professionals; and
  4. develop SP-industry partnerships and collaborations.

3. Benefits for the Mentor

A mentor takes on a long term view to provide guidance, support, encouragement and inspiration to a student through the sharing of life experiences and exploring together options in career and in life.

Mentoring can be tremendously enjoyable and many mentors relish the journey of investing in others [Holloway, J. H. (2001)][1] and in developing leaders [Rosato, D.(2013)][2] for the profession while reflecting on their own experiences.

The IMN will allow mentors to understand the psyche and motivations of the younger generation. In the process, they will get to hone their mentoring skills and gather innovative ideas and perspectives from their students (mentees).

Many mentors have expressed that mentorship is a fulfilling experience, and that they learn just as much as their mentees.

[1] Holloway, J. H. (2001). The Benefits of Mentoring. Educational Leadership, 58(8), 85

[2] Rosato, D. (2013). Benefit From Being a Mentor. Money, 42(7), 44.

4. Benefits for the Mentor's Company (as a corporate partner)

Companies are invited to join the IMN as a corporate partner. By nominating suitable company mentors who can provide effective mentorships and setting aside company time, venues and/or events for company mentors to meet their students, e.g. 4 hours /semester, a corporate partner of the IMN will help raise the awareness and enhance the perception of the industry.

Through helping students understand career pathways and progression opportunities within the company and/or the industry, these students will form a potential pool of interns and/or employees. All these will strengthen the company and industry’s manpower recruitment and retention efforts.

5. Benefits for the Student

Through mentors’ sharing of industry developments, their career journeys and their own mentors who have helped shape their lives, students will find mentoring relationships invaluable as they explore and make decisions about their future.

The IMN will provide opportunities for mentors to assist with the matching of students’ skills, interests and values to plausible career pathways. With their years of experiences and wealth of networks, mentors are also well placed to advise students on job applications and interviews as well as direct them to suitable contacts and/or opportunities. With guidance from their mentors, students will be able to set their career goals, track progress towards those goals and work towards closing gaps, if any.

As mentors and students with common industry interests are connected via the IMN, there is always scope for reciprocal learning and sharing during and even beyond the programme.

6. Requirements

The key to fruitful mentoring relationships is to ensure that mentors and students discuss and arrive at shared expectations of and commitments towards the IMN.

Mentors

People developers with a heart to serve are crucial to ensure the success of the IMN. In general, a mentor:

  1. is ready to embrace IMN common belief;
  2. possesses good knowledge of career pathways in the industry;
  3. possesses good interpersonal skills, is encouraging, motivating and listens well;
  4. enjoys working with young adults and takes an active interest in their developmental process; and
  5. has about 5 years or more of relevant industry experience.

Students

Students must be fully aware that it is a privilege to be on the IMN as industry professionals are spending their time mentoring them and giving them a head start in their personal and career development.

Students must be inspired learners who are committed to see through the full term of the IMN, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Students should initiate and maintain contact with their mentors to coordinate the meet-ups and to update on their progress. This can be done either via phone, email or text messages.

Commitment

The mentoring process underlying the IMN hinges on face-to-face interactions. A mentor and his/her students should meet up at least once every semester. Should their schedules permit, the mentor and his/her students are at liberty to meet up more than the required once every semester, especially over company and/or industry events which lend themselves as good mentoring and networking sessions.

The proposed ratio of mentor to students, programme duration and frequency of meet-ups aim to promote fruitful mentoring journeys and meaningful relationship building between mentors and students.

7. Mentorship Activities

Mentors and students will be requested to attend the following mentorship activities:

Initiation

The IMN journey commences with an initial meeting between the mentor and his/her students where both parties will introduce themselves and discuss their shared goals, commitments towards the programme, as well as planned activities for subsequent meet-ups. Every participating student will keep his/her Liaison Office (LO) informed of the key discussion points (refer to Annex B) after the initiation.

Goals

Shared goals between the mentors and students could include, but are not restricted to, the following:

  • mentors to share knowledge, experiences and career journeys with students;
  • mentors to convey industry insights and developments to students;
  • mentors to guide students on personal development and career planning;

and any other goals aimed at helping the students explore personal development and career options. These shared goals should be achievable and realistic taking commitments into consideration.

Though it is hoped that student(s) may intern or work at the mentor’s workplace, the IMN does not obligate SP, mentors and students to ensure internship and/or employment placements.

Meet-Ups

Subsequent meet-ups may be conducted at mentors’ offices, hence allowing the students sneak peeks into their mentors’ workplaces, or any other location convenient to all members of the work group, i.e. a mentor and his/her 2 – 4 students, and appropriate to achieve the programme goals and objectives of a specific meet-up.

Suggested activities during the subsequent meet-ups between a mentor and his/her students may include, but are not restricted to, the following:

  • chat sessions where mentors share their knowledge, life and work experiences as well as industry insights;
  • exploratory activities such as researching collaboratively on a topic, industry developments or trends;
  • developmental activities such as a mentor guiding his/her students to refine their career goals, validating students’ (mock) interviews, resumes or job applications and giving company-specific feedback and sharing industry practices thereafter;
  • discussions led by mentors to increase students’ understanding of the demands of various career options, workplace culture and job market. Taking students’ interests, values and motivations into consideration, mentors can also help identify gaps in student’s skills and experiences and guide them on pathways to bridge those gaps;
  • students visiting and shadowing their mentors at their workplaces; and
  • attending corporate and/or industry events together.

Students must inform their Liaison Officers (LOs) prior to each meet-up, and record all sessions in their learning reflections (Annex C). Meet-ups are best arranged for within working hours and with at least 2 students.

Progress & Feedback

At the end of every semester, students will be required to submit their progress, learning reflections, as well as updates, if any, to the goals, commitment and planned activities detailed in the Student’s Learning Reflections (refer to Annex C).

Feedback may also be requested from mentors to ascertain the effectiveness of IMN in meeting its objectives and the areas for improvement. Mentors may also be invited to share their experiences and best practices of the IMN. Such sharing sessions will also lend themselves as networking sessions for both mentors and students.

8. Guidelines for Mentors and Students

General

To work towards a mutually rewarding mentoring journey, both mentors and students are encouraged to adopt the following mindset and attitudes throughout the IMN journey:

  • keep to scheduled meeting times or give adequate notice of changes;
  • be open about and receptive towards sharing of knowledge, experiences, industry insights and feedback. Keep sharing and feedback balanced and realistic;
  • respect privacy and honour experiences (be they successes or failures);
  • observe confidentiality, objectivity and professionalism in all dealings; and
  • advise the Programme Coordinator (namely Department of Industry Services, email: industry@sp.edu.sg) of issues and/or concerns.

Please refer to Annex A for further elaboration.

Maturity and Safety

Mentors are requested to consider the maturity and safety of their students when ascertaining the suitability of planned activities. We seek mentors’ assistance to brief their students on safety guidelines and equip them with the necessary personal protective gear during visits to the mentors’ workplace, where applicable.

Costs of Engagements

Mentors are encouraged to engage all their students collectively to promote collaborative learning and expediency in knowledge and experience sharing. As a general practice, students will foot their share of costs incurred during the activities, e.g. food costs incurred over chat sessions conducted at eateries. Mentors are kindly requested to keep costs of meet-ups and engagement affordable for their students.                                             

Withdrawal from Programme

In the event that the mentoring arrangement between a mentor and his/her student(s) is to be discontinued, either the mentor or the student may submit a request in writing to the Programme Coordinator. A corporate partner may also withdraw its participation in writing to the Programme Coordinator.

SP reserves the right to terminate the mentoring arrangement immediately (in writing to the mentor and his/her student) if it is of the view that such termination is necessary to protect the interest of the student.

Applications

Summary Agreement FormDownload
Student's Reflection FormDownload
Student's Application FormDownload
Parent's Consent FormDownload