Benefits of v i s t a

Being able to talk to a Research Manager was invaluable for me to make a career change. I already knew I wanted to leave research science, but I had difficulty getting to the interview stage of job applications. On reflection I realise that this was partly because I struggled to articulate my skills and how they were transferable. Talking to an established professional was brilliant, the advice I received improved my application's and CV immensely, and in fact I am now working in the same team as them.

Mentoring is a valuable developmental tool as the content is tailored to the needs of the individual mentee.

The general anticipated benefits to mentees are:

  1. Dedicated time to focus on career options and planning
  2. An opportunity to learn how different organisations work, and the people they recruit
  3. Understanding of the day to day responsibilities of a range of careers
  4. Access to a knowledgeable sounding board for testing out ideas, and making smart plans
  5. Increased personal networks and professional contacts
  6. Increased self-awareness, awareness of the transferability of research skills, and confidence in joining new work environments.

Both mentee and mentor will benefit from the learning partnership. Some positive outcomes for mentors that we anticipate are below:

  1. People management and leadership skills development: self-awareness, active listening, challenging, motivating others, building commitment to action, coaching.
  2. Increased personal networks, which may also benefit your employer
  3. Appreciation of the skills and experiences of early career researchers and the benefit they can bring to organisations outside academia.
  4. Satisfaction of helping others who are transitioning from research training.
  5. A new challenge to stretch your learning and development.

The University of Sheffield will benefit by fostering an environment of well-supported, motivated researchers; by developing good relationships with alumni, local businesses and national partners; and by creating wide networks of contacts across employment sectors as researchers move into diverse roles.

The employers of researchers and research leaders will also benefit by helping highly skilled researchers understand their business’ key drivers and challenges from a first-hand source. We hope this will help researchers make more strategic career decisions, and find employers whose values match closely to their own.

Getting in touch with a contact in the role I was interested in was immeasurably useful. My mentor gave me insight into the priorities and culture within the organisation and what to expect from the recruitment process. I received really essential feedback on my application. The similarities in our research backgrounds gave me great heart and convinced me to persevere especially after I wasn't successful the first time I applied. Finally it also gave me a contact in a different dept, when I did get the job.