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NTU Singapore launches mentorship programme for students

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) will now be able to boost their career prospects through a new mentorship programme called the NTU Connecting Minds.

The university launched a mentorship programme at its annual NTU Career Fair opening today that will match current undergraduates with NTU alumni and other industry professionals.

Students who sign up will be able to searched for or be matched with a volunteer mentor from their preferred industry through a one-stop digital platform. Using artificial intelligence and big data, the platform will provide students with a personalised skills profile report that will identify possible career options based on their key skills, and recommend mentors in the relevant industry.

This year’s NTU Career Fair has attracted a record number of 280 employers offering some 4,000 jobs and internship opportunities. About 9,000 students are expected to visit the fair each day on 1, 6 and 9 February.

A number of NTU’s graduating students have also successfully clinched job offers before they graduate, some as early as 6 months to a year before graduation, at organisations they interned at, or because the internship had prepared them well for the first job.

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Students in the programme will identify their career goals and options, and work closely with their mentors for up to 3 months on an action plan to attain those goals. Each mentor may have up to 3 students as their mentees.  NTU aims to have up to 1,000 students and mentors signing up within the first year of the programme.

Professor Ling San, NTU provost and vice president (academic), said: "The ultimate goal is to mentor, nurture and inspire a new generation of talents, one student at a time. With their wealth of career and life experiences, these mentors can meaningfully guide students towards their career aspirations, help them to see beyond their degrees and consider fresh opportunities in the global workplace.

“By tapping on NTU’s global network of more than 200,000 alumni, NTU Connecting Minds aims to provide our students with an important head start and an extra edge to succeed in their careers. In line with Singapore’s SkillsFuture initiative, a unique feature of this Mentorship Programme is the special focus on skills development. Leveraging an intelligent online platform developed by two NTU alumni, the system uses big data to better understand the different skills that are required for different career options,” Ling added.

The job of the mentors is to assist their mentees in setting development goals, build the confidence to reach those goals and expand their networks.

Meanwhile, Tay Ling, managing director of TILT, an NTU-trained mechanical engineer who has been in the creative industry for the past 15 years, said: "Throughout my career, many people have helped me to grow, so I felt it's time for me to give back. I hope to engage and empower young people by sharing my experience in terms of work ethics, hard and soft skills, help them to widen their network within the industry, and empower young social enterprise start-ups.”

The programme also aims to connect students with mentors regardless of distance.

Loh Pui Wah, Director of NTU’s career and attachment office said, “We have many alumni who want to mentor. To tap on their expertise, we will use digital means, such as video communication so mentors can connect with the students, even if either one of them is not based in Singapore.”

The mentorship programme complements NTU’s existing school-based career coaches and industry-based career consultants.

Photo / 123RF

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