Beans Academy - Empowered by Student Beans

The Best Places To Find A Mentor

Here are the top reasons for getting a mentor and where to find one.

Getting yourself a mentor could be a key part of not just your professional career but your personal growth too. Similar to coaches or teachers, mentors are people who draw on their own skills and experience to help guide you (the ‘mentee’) through all sorts of life events. From projects to job changes to personal development, mentors can be an important support system. 

While in other parts of the world being involved in mentoring is commonplace, it’s only now growing in popularity in the UK. There are a wide range of places you can find a mentor and often there are options based on your specific goals and/or background. 

Here we’ll cover why you should get a mentor – and show you the best places to find one.

Why should you get a mentor?

According to Emma Berwick, who is studying at the University of Birmingham and has a mentor through BelEve (more on them below) “having a mentor was one of the best gifts I could have received. My mentor has been through similar things to me like university, getting a grad job and rejected and then getting a fantastic job. So they were definitely someone I could relate to, and who continue to inspire and empower me as I go through university. In short, if you’re ever offered a mentor, take it and run – I’m so grateful to my mentors!”.

Here are some other reasons for getting a mentor:

1. Broaden your horizons

Speaking to someone else is one of the best ways to find out what you might want to do with your life.

A mentor can help to give suggestions you may not have thought about before and give you an insight into careers you may have never even heard of before.

2. Kickstart your professional growth

A mentor can support you in finding clarity and focus when it comes to your career goals.

Typically, mentors can come with direct experience and valuable networks in the area you want to work in. They can’t do the hard work for you, but having a sounding board and guide who’s ‘been there and done it’ could make the difference as you start applying for jobs.

3. Get access to feedback

If you’re the first in your family to go to university or you’re from a low income background you may not have anyone to ask for advice.

Even if you do, the challenge if you’re too close to them is that they may avoid being honest. A mentor dynamic is different as the nature of the relationship empowers mentors to provide objective feedback in a way that is supportive and constructive. 

4. Someone to hold you accountable

One of the best parts of the mentor/mentee relationship is the concept of setting goals to help keep you on track. A mentor can help provide you with this focus when life is hectic. 

By creating some specific and measurable goals, you are able to narrow in on what your next step is and create a plan for how to achieve your ambitions. 

5. Build your confidence

A key aspect of setting goals and meeting them is that it can give you a real sense of personal satisfaction. This, in turn, helps to build confidence. In fact, research even suggests that having a mentor can positively impact your wider emotional health. 

6. Create a network and build contacts

Through a mentor relationship, you can gain access to a huge variety and diversity of people.

Mentors can share their own networks and introductions to help you find further opportunities and support. One of the greatest benefits of widening your network is learning from the experience of others.

The top places to find a mentor

There are a growing number of great mentoring initiatives out there, with some being tailored specifically to particular groups based on identity, while others are focused on sector or industry.

Here’s our round up of the best places to find a mentor:

One Million Mentors

One Million Mentors (1MM) has a simple aim: to connect one million young people with one million life-changing opportunities. You’ll be paired with a mentor and you’ll also receive training and ongoing support from 1MM to ensure you make the most of the experience.

Who is it for? Anyone aged 18 to 25 looking to build their confidence, grow their network or take the next step in their career.

When can I apply? Applications are open year round.

Find out more and sign up here.


I LIKE NETWORKING is the leading career platform for women and non-binary people in the creative industries. Their mentoring programme aims to foster gender equality in the creative industries by opening doors in your professional life and in your personal growth.

Their mentors have serious amounts of experience and come from industries as varied as fashion, sports, music and the visual arts.

Who is it for? Women and non-binary people of any age looking to achieve their goals in the creative industries.

When can I apply? Applications are yet to open for 2022. Subscribe to their newsletter for updates.

Find out more and sign up here.

The Open Private School

The Open Private School (OPS) was founded by three students at the University of Nottingham who wanted to level the playing field for students from state educated backgrounds.

Mentee alumni can join an ever expanding network, benefit from exclusive workshops and will get paired with a ‘life mentor’ to support them with job applications.

Who is it for? Anyone over the age of 16 who wants to work in law, business or finance and who went to a state secondary school.

When can I apply? Applications are open right now.

Find out more and sign up here.

Fashion Minority Report

Fashion Minority Report was set up in 2020 to increase diversity within the fashion industry and already counts BROWNS, Farfetch and ASOS among its brand partners.

Their mentoring programme, Fashioning Emerging Professionals, pairs mentees with an industry professional for 16 weeks of 1-2-1 mentoring and includes the opportunity to apply for a paid internship role at the end of the scheme.

Who is it for? Their criteria is aimed to cover emerging professionals from diverse backgrounds interested in the fashion industry or creative sector. Check out their Mentorship FAQs for the full criteria.

When can I apply? Applications are open now and there are two scheduled programmes per year.

Find out more and sign up here.


BelEve is a girl-focused charity working to inspire the next generation of female leaders. Their mentorship programme Beleve in Her Success is designed to empower and encourage them in their careers. As a mentee you’ll received a trained mentor, take part in skills development workshops and attend monthly social events.

Who is it for? Women aged 16 to 21 years old

When can I apply? Applications are open now

Find out more and sign up here.

Once you’ve found a mentor you might want to check out employment opportunities specifically for students from underrepresented groups. Take a look at our round up of the top diversity internships and graduate schemes for 2022 here.