Our Aspiring Professionals Programme relies on the goodwill of organisations, as well as professional individuals, to support the young people that we work with.
We work across 11 sectors: Accountancy, Architecture, Banking & Finance, Biology & Chemistry, Business, Digital, Engineering & Physics, Law, Media & Communications, Medicine, Politics, in seven UK cities: Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, and Newcastle, so it is likely that your skills and experience will be valuable to the students we support.
You can support our work in the form of mentoring, internships, skills sessions or pro bono support, as outlined below. Mentoring students makes a huge contribution to a young person’s development, whilst adding to your own professional development too. For organisations looking to diversify their workforce, working with the SMF gives you access to a large pool of untapped talent.
You can sign-up to volunteer here.
Become an SMF Mentor
As an SMF Mentor, you can personally help a young person on our Aspiring Professionals Programme (APP) on a one-to-one basis via email.
Becoming an SMF mentor is a great way to see someone develop and help them to reach their potential by giving them useful insights into how to get a job like yours.
Over 9 months, you’ll support a young person by increasing their understanding of their desired career and professional life. You will also help them explore their professional interests further, support them in their university application, general skills development, as well as supporting them with other new experiences they are facing, such as their first internship or first job.
Being a mentor is just a 15–30 minute fortnightly commitment and all emails that you send and receive go through our designated and secure website to ensure that your personal details are not passed onto your mentee.
You may also have the opportunity to meet your mentee at organised SMF events if you both live in the same city and as a mentor you will receive support through orientation information, monthly e-bulletins and ongoing support from SMF.
Please note we are no longer recruiting volunteers for the 2020 e-mentoring cycle. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please do complete the form below and we will be in touch from October onwards to discuss next steps for our 2021 cycle.
Provide an Internship
Open your place of work to an SMF student and see them develop professionally.
Many opportunities for work experience go to relatives of employees or clients. By hosting an SMF student on an internship, you will be giving an opportunity to someone who wouldn’t be able to get it otherwise.
To be on our programmes, students have to have top academic grades and be actively interested in reaching a top profession. Therefore, we can ensure the student who undertakes work experience with you will be passionate about gaining a real insight into your sector and will have the potential to get into your profession in the future.
You can find out more on our internship FAQs page.
Host a Skills Session
Skills sessions help students gain specific knowledge and understanding in what they want to do in the future. Nearly 80% of students said that attending SMF events, including sector-specific workshops, helped them when it came to needing to have a good understanding of the sector for their internship.
A session can be anything from a tour of your office, with some talks from key members of each department to a presentation on a certain field of your industry followed by a related group task for the students to complete. Skill sessions range from morning/afternoon or day sessions, from 5 to 60 students, whichever works best for you and your team.
Volunteer with our Recruitment Success Service
Our Recruitment Success Service offers undergraduate students tailored support throughout the recruitment process; from having a chat about the sector and what to expect, to writing a CV, to participating in mock interviews. Volunteers support in different aspects of this process and provide feedback by phone or email.
The service runs year-around but students require the most support between Sept-Dec for CVs and Nov-Feb for interview/assessment practice. SMF would let you know when there is a student requiring support and put you both in touch.
Residential Internship Provider
Residential internships are a great way for firms to reach talented young people from all over the UK by bringing them to your city for one or two weeks during school summer holidays. Through organising a programme like this, you’ll support a cohort of students ranging from up and down the country by giving them an invaluable insight into the career that they want to get into.
We are experts in supervising young people, so before and after the working day, SMF trained Group Leaders will be on hand for students in out-of-work hours and to oversee a series of evening activities to not only develop the participants’ soft skills, such as networking, but to let them get a taste of a different city by taking visiting the sights.
Pro bono support
Get to know the SMF more and work with us on a pro-bono basis by helping us to run our charity efficiently in order to reach the students we target and to offer them the opportunities that we do.
How you can work with us will differ according to the skills you have to offer and what we need at any one time. Areas you may be able to help us with include:
IT systems support, evaluation of our programme, web and video content or designing promotional material.
If you would like further information on any of the above please click the box below to get in touch.