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Mentoring Workshops & Events

Explore our range of workshops and events for mentors and mentees to help you get the most out of your mentoring experience.

Mentor Lunch and Learn Sessions

As part of our ongoing commitment to development for mentors at Leeds we are launching a series of lunch and learn sessions for mentors to share their learning, expertise and offer peer support. These sessions will explore a variety of topics and speakers for these sessions are all active mentors on the University-wide Mentoring Scheme, sharing their experience of mentoring colleagues across the University.

The lunch and learn sessions will run online via the University Wide Mentoring MS Teams channel, which will also offer a space to share resources and continue discussion after the sessions. They are available to all mentors, and you do not need to be part of the University-wide Mentoring Scheme to join the discussions.

19 February 2024 - Squiggly careers: supporting mentees to navigate modern careers

This session takes place on Monday 19 February 2024, 12-1pm (Online).

Three mentors offer their perspective on supporting the career development of mentees, and how mentors can support colleagues to navigate important career decisions. We will consider how we can support mentees to navigate the dynamic, complex and uncertain nature of modern careers. The session will start with a short panel discussion, followed by a group discussion and Q&A.


Professor Melanie Bell, Professor in Film History Faculty of Arts Humanities and Cultures: "I came to higher education as a mature student and a single parent in my mid-30s. I have worked in lots of different types of universities (polytechnic, red brick and russell group) and worked in teaching, research and administrative roles.  At various points in my career I have experience in securing research grant income, promotion and other indicators of ‘esteem’. I am deeply interested in career development and mentoring, both formal and informal, across all career stages. I serve as a mentor on the Aurora Women’s Leadership Development programme, support early career researchers through my role in Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute (LAHRI) role and, in 2020, worked with OD&PL to develop a leadership programme for mid-career academics."

Naomi Tickhill, Student Education Service Project Manager: "Leaving school with a handful of GCSEs at 16, I started work as an office junior in a law firm. 35 years later, I am a Student Education Service (SES) Project Manager and on University redeployment. Having worked my way up from a Grade 3 equivalent to a Grade 7 in SES, I have had a variety of different roles across admissions, quality assurance, SES Manager, and various faculty expertise roles.

I have always said yes to opportunities, even if they scared me to death. Because of this, I have represented support staff on the University Council and completed secondments, pilots and other roles outside of my day job (co-convenor on the SES Manager & Graduate School Manager network). As part of this I studied part time for my undergraduate and postgraduate taught degrees whilst working full time at the University. I was given the support that I needed during this time to complete these to my best ability.

Importantly, I have always had people look out for me along the way so becoming a mentor really gave me the opportunity to pay it forward as much as possible. I have been a mentor now for a number of years and I have seen mentees go on to be really successful and to develop, grow and progress. During mentoring it has helped people to clarify decisions, or to completely change their plan along the way. If I can help people think about the way they are perceived or to help them focus on what they might like to do, then I feel that that is a successful outcome for both of us.

My aim as a manager and a person is to help anyone achieve their potential and to help them think about where they might go in the future and any help I can give them is given generously and unconditionally."

Dr Blessing Mukonoweshuro, Knowledge Transfer Manager, Research and Innovation Service: "I am a Knowledge Transfer Manager leading the university’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership team (KTP@Leeds) which supports academic-industry innovation collaborations. I am also an alumnus of the Faculty of Biological Sciences and Leeds University Business School and therefore a strong advocate for the University’s careers support offering. Before my current role, I have had industry experience in the food, pharmaceutical, financial services sector as well as technology transfer in the Higher Education Institutions (HEI). My personal journey has been shaped by the guidance and mentoring support I have received over the years which has enabled me to share with others as a mentor in the University wide Mentoring Scheme, Michael Beverly Innovation Fellowship Scheme and the then the Leeds Postgraduate Next Steps Mentoring Scheme. A key and rewarding part of my current role is the creation of new career paths for graduates/postgraduates, post-docs, and others to become KTP Associates who work at the interface between academia and industry and supporting them throughout their journey to become future leaders. I am an avid proponent of blending mentoring and coaching approaches in navigating career development."

Sign up for the 19 February 2024 session

19 March 2024 - Imposter syndrome and overcoming self-doubt

This session takes place on Tuesday 19 March 2024, 12-1pm (Online).

Speaker: Dr Fiona Gill, Lecturer in Palaeontology and Geochemistry, Faculty of Environment

Dr Fiona Gill shares her perspective on how mentors can support mentees to challenge imposter syndrome and self-doubt. Fiona is a mentor for the University Wide Mentoring Scheme and Aurora Women’s Leadership Development programme, and considers mentoring to be a powerful tool for mentees to recognise the structural and contextual factors that influence their careers and build confidence in themselves.

Fiona will talk about:

  • Her own personal experience of imposter syndrome, including her experience relating to this with her mentor;
  • Her experience identifying and working on imposter syndrome, self-doubt and the inner critic with mentees, focussing on what people’s language about themselves shows about their inner landscape
  • Sharing some techniques for living alongside your inner critic and embracing your inner mentor

The session will also incorporate group discussion in breakout rooms, so please make sure that you are set up with mic and camera, and in a location that you will feel comfortable speaking.

Sign up for the 19 March 2024 session

24 April 2024 - Insights into Reverse Mentoring

This session takes place on Wednesday 24 April 2024, 12-1pm (Online).

Speaker: Rachael O’Connor (she/her), Associate Professor in Legal Education and University Academic Lead for Personal Tutoring

Rachael O'Connor (SFHEA) is currently conducting a fellowship project with the Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence exploring the intersection of reverse mentoring and academic personal tutoring. She is also working in partnership with legal mental health and wellbeing charity LawCare on a reverse mentoring project involving aspiring, junior and senior lawyers in the legal profession, focusing on the intersection of inclusion and wellbeing. Rachael has ran and supported numerous reverse mentoring projects across the institution and also advised many external universities and organisations outside HE on reverse mentoring. She regularly presents her work in this area at national and international conferences and network events and has won awards for her EDI-focussed reverse mentoring related work.

In this session, Rachael will share an outline of the ways in which she has used reverse mentoring as a methodology at the University of Leeds to amplify and explore the voices and experiences of students and others who feel under-represented within the university community and also to enhance understanding and develop positive practices of staff and leaders. Once we have reached a common understanding of reverse mentoring as a concept, Rachael will encourage attendees to think about the ethos and underpinning ideals of reverse mentoring to consider how they might implement either reverse mentoring or a similar practice in their own contexts and why they might wish to do so. We will discuss the benefits and challenges associated with reverse mentoring and consider how reverse mentoring might be further developed at Leeds and beyond.

The session will close with a Q&A.

Sign up for the 24 April 2024 session

23 May 2024 - Mediation and mentoring: supporting mentees to address conflicts positively

This session takes place on Thursday 23 May, 1-2pm (Online).


  • Martin Pelan, Student Support Manager, Faculty of Medicine and Health
  • Jo Sheen, Mediation Service Co Ordinator

This session will focus on how you can support mentees dealing with conflict, both through mentoring, and when mentees may benefit from alternative support available for addressing conflict through the University Mediation Service.

Martin Pelan will share his experience as both a mentor and a University Mediator. Martin will share how mediation skills can be used to enhance mentoring practice, and how mentors can support mentees to address conflict positively and constructively.

Jo Sheen, Lead for the University of Leeds Mediation Scheme, will share how mediation works, who it might benefit, and how people can access it.

The session will close with a Q&A with the speakers.

Sign up for the 23 May 2024 session

June 2024 - Session to be confirmed

We are hoping to run an additional workshop in June, the details are currently been confirmed and we will update this page as soon as more information is available.

16 July 2024 - Reflective practice workshop 

This session takes place on Tuesday 16 July, 2-4pm (Online).

Speaker: Maria Stopyra, Organisational Learning Partner in OD&PL

This workshop offers a reflective space to share experiences with other mentors and learn from one another to enhance your mentoring practice. The Global Code of Ethics for Coaches, Mentors and Supervisors recommends peer supervision as best practice for mentors to reflect on your practice and support ongoing development.

This workshop aims to create a safe space to discuss experiences as mentors confidentially, and benefit from each other's knowledge and experience. Attendees should aim to attend the first part of the session, which will cover the process and ground rules for peer supervision, but do not need to stay for the whole session.

Participants are asked to bring a topic or challenge to discuss at the workshop (this might be an area for development, a conflict of interest, something you would like advice on from other mentors).

Sign up for the 16 July 2024 session

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