The Graduate School mentoring program builds on the accessibility and short lines of communication between lecturers and students that TU/e is known for.
Several companies that show a special interest in TU/e graduates have emphasized the importance of professional skills. In the high-performance workplaces of today people need to be able to present themselves, be creative, show (self) leadership and adopt an entrepreneurial attitude towards their work and their lives. Therefore, interaction skills, such as teamwork and communication, and other skills, like entrepreneurship and leadership are more important than ever. Young professionals need to bring more to the table than knowledge and a degree. The TU/e wants to support you by developing the skills you need to get the job that you want.
A recent study about the employability of higher education graduates shows that graduates who have better skills, have a better chance of securing long-term employment, but also tend to gain a higher salary. In short: skills equal income.
During your master program you will have ample opportunity to develop your skills: think of courses, internships, your final project, but also of extracurricular activities in student associations.
The main goal of mentoring is to support you in getting the best possible start to your career. The task of a mentor is to be available to help students with questions they may have about course selection, skills development, and career plans.
A big part of the role of the mentor is to explore your career goals, as that will help you put together a coherent education and development plan. This plan should include curriculum choices, professional and academic skills to focus on, and your view on your career after graduating. Your mentor can suggest challenging courses, introduce you to people in relevant research departments and companies, and help you choose a career profile or a combination of profiles.
Suggestions for meetings
You as a student are in charge of your own professional development during the master. In the first month after starting a master’s degree program, you need to complete the professional skills assessment in SkillsLab, design a development plan and set up a first meeting with your mentor.
Below, you’ll find some suggestions for when and how often to meet with your mentor. You can discuss the exact frequency with your mentor. Please keep in mind that it is your own responsibility to set up mentoring meetings with your mentor.
- First month. Introductory meeting with your mentor.
All students start their master’s degree program with an assessment on academic and professional skills, to be completed within the first month. This assessment can provide clear insight into your development needs, after which you are expected to design a development plan and discuss this with your mentor in an introductory meeting. During your first meeting you will also need to sign the Declaration concerning the TU/e Code of Scientific Conduct.
- First semester.
Once you have prepared a coherent study plan and a career vision your mentor can help you sort out which courses and departments to look into, and which professional skills are critical for the type of career you desire or refer you to other sources of information.
- Every one or two quartiles.
Regular check-in meetings to reflect on your progress, ambitions, career options, and professional development.
- Before you start an internship or your graduation project.
Internships and graduation projects are an important part of a student’s development into a professional who is ready to start a career. Your mentor can think with you which internships or graduation projects suit your ambitions, development and career plans.
Typical questions you may want to ask your mentor
- Which professional skills are important in my desired career?
- How do I know if I’m making the right choices in putting together my study plan?
- Which courses are available to me?
- What career options do I have?
- Who do I approach to join a research group?
- I’m struggling with something. Where can I get help?
- Do my ideas for a study plan meet the quality guidelines of the university?
- How do I choose a graduation project?
- How can I combine these interesting courses in a way that fits my schedule?
TU/e Code of Scientific Conduct
As an independent science and academic institute, TU/e attaches great importance to employing clear standards with regard to scientific practice within the university.
You are therefore required to uphold the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Academic Practice and the TU/e Code of Scientific Conduct (based on the former), which you can find here.
During your first meeting you will be asked to sign the TU/e Code of Conductin the presence of your mentor. By signing the TU/e Code of Conduct you declare to have read the TU/e Code of Conduct and will follow them.
Resources available to you
Besides the online education guide the SkillsLab platform and TU/e CareerCentre are some excellent resources for you.
An online platform for learning and practicing professional skills, such as giving presentations
and working in teams. SkillsLab is still under development; new modules are added regularly. SkillsLab provides the online assessment of professional skills you must take within the first month of starting your master’s degree program.
This center helps connect students and employers. TU/e CareerCenter offers labor market orientation, job matching, career coaching meetings and workshops to support you with your next career step.