Since launching the new online mentoring platform in January, almost 400 generous graduates and friends of the University have signed up to become mentors to current students and recent graduates.
Graduates often get in touch to say how much of an impact having a mentor has had on their career journeys, but the benefit goes both ways. Professor Alan Boyd (Intercalated BSc Biochemistry, 1977; MBChB Medicine, 1980) has been giving his time as a mentor for over eight years and says he gets a lot out of it as well.
'I became a mentor because, as I am now in such a senior position in medicine, it keeps my feet on the ground. Talking to my mentees reminds me of my early days and helps me to understand younger doctors so that I can represent them at the top. I enjoy sharing my experiences and watching my mentees grow and develop.'
For Shreyas Moodalbyle (MBChB Medicine, 2022), currently a junior doctor, having Alan as a mentee in his final year as a medical student made a big difference. They studied the same degree at Birmingham 40 years apart.
He says: 'Having a degree in medicine can open so many doors but I was getting overwhelmed by all the options. While I could read about them all online, I found it really inspiring to speak to Alan about his career path and what opportunities might exist for me. I found it so helpful to have someone who cared about me and my career that I could chat to each week.
'I even had the opportunity to shadow him in his pharmaceutical company. He taught me to make the most of every experience available to me.'
Watch Alan and Shreyas in conversation at Gratitude, an annual celebration event of donors and volunteers to the University.