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Title: Altered positions : a study on the expectations and experiences of career mentoring in higher education
Author: Hayton, Kavita
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 9953
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis investigates a specific instance of mentoring offered to final year HE design students in order to propose that ‘readiness for mentoring’ is a theory worthy of expansion and that this expansion can add to the field of knowledge on mentoring. The Design Buddy mentoring scheme, created by the South West Design Forum, uses local creative arts business volunteers as mentors who are paired with design students by course tutors. It is important to note that this thesis does not offer a critique of the Design Buddy scheme, but rather uses in-depth interviews with four participating students to interrogate their expectations and experiences of career mentoring. In order to understand how the individual combines their expectations for the future with past experiences to develop an idea of career, the literature on career identity construction was interrogated. The literature and the findings of this thesis support the concept, that in shaping a career identity, the career holder also develops a parallel readiness for experiencing career events. The concept of readiness was developed further, in relation to creative arts career mentoring, specifically in order to understand how the experiences and expectations of the individual student impacted on mentoring. A qualitative research instrument, using semi-structured interviews and hand drawn concept mapping was deployed to enable a fluid and creative way of capturing students’ views of career and of mentoring. An interpretative paradigm, able to accommodate multiple and divergent results, was systematically applied to code all the interview data. The aspiration of the research design was to bridge the tension between empiricist and interpretive approaches to research. The findings of the thesis established several preconditions that contribute positively to an individual’s readiness for mentoring. In brief, these preconditions address the appropriateness of the timing of mentoring and of the mentor, the need for realistic expectations on the part of the student and the student’s previous experiences of mentoring as well as the level of their vocational connection. These preconditions are presented within a new mentoring readiness framework, designed as a qualitative tool, against which to measure a protégé’s readiness for mentoring. Although these preconditions for mentoring evolved out of the unique circumstances surrounding creative arts students, it is proposed that the mentoring readiness tool is open to wider testing. Used more broadly the tool could enable an extension of knowledge in mentoring research projects or the design of mentoring schemes within other disciplines. More importantly, it may also give a means of assessing individual readiness so that a potential protégé can be given strategic and directed support to make the most of mentoring as a career intervention.
Supervisor: Lumby, Jacky Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB2300 Higher Education