Mentoring Success With Sunderland University

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Author Image - Dan Step

By Dan Step

Dan is a Business Development Representative working with and alongside SME'S, schools and multi national corporations. Dan also works as a public speaker to help schools and charities find funding that is available at corporate and conference events.

Leighton have been working closely with Sunderland University over the past few months to support a number of their students prepare themselves for the job market beyond their studies.

Through the University'sÂProfessional Mentoring Scheme, leading local businesses like Leighton have the opportunity to help students develop their skills and maximise their employability.

The benefits for both the students and the company are plentiful: the students receive high quality, industry specific advice and guidance over several months, while the company builds stronger links with the University and potential graduate employees.

One of our Front End Developers, Marc Cullen, signed up to the mentoring scheme to share insights from his experience at Leighton and his career in development so far. Marc is currently part of Leighton's development team working on our British Airways account and has been mentoring Osmas, a Batchelor of Computer Science student specialising in web development.

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Marc explains a little more of what the Professional Mentoring Scheme entails:

"I began mentoring Osmas at Sunderland University earlier this year. Osmas is a Computer Science student, who has just completed his 2nd year. When meeting with Osmas over at the University Campus, we would discuss his current progress in on his course as well as the opportunities available to him."

"During these informal meetings, I’d talk about my current role at Leighton and what its like to work on a major client account, as well as sharing information on the path I took into a career in web development."

"At the beginning of April, we hosted an open event where we invited a number Sunderland University students and others from nearby Sunderland College to spend some time at the Leighton office to better understand what we do - both as a business as a whole and more specifically as members of the team."

"We were able to provide a view into our roles here at Leighton and our involvement with British Airways as well as other projects ongoing such as the Foundation of Light and Home Group."

"Overall the involvement I’ve had with mentoring Osmas and the part I’ve played in running the open events with Leighton has given me a great sense of achievement and I hope to continue with the programme in the new academic year."

As a result of the mentoring scheme, Osmas has now taken up a temporary summer placement with FOOTY.COM, an e-commerce business that stemmed from our Leighton Labs initiative. Osmas has been working on populating the FOOTY.COM site with a wide variety of product items as a CMS Data Manager.

Leighton are already looking forward to working with Osmas and other Sunderland University students again in the new academic year.