SYP Oxford launches second stream of mentoring scheme

Posted on October 26, 2018 in Oxford

Have you heard the news? SYP Oxford has launched the second stream of the OxForward mentoring scheme! This time, we are looking for applications from students, jobseekers, temps, interns, recent graduates, career-changers – anyone looking to get into publishing who isn’t currently working in the industry permanently and/or full-time. 

Read more about the scheme and how to apply here. Applications are open until Monday 29th October.

We caught up with Jason Mitchell, mentor on the current scheme and founder of the SYP Mentoring scheme in 2009, on why he has been involved with mentoring throughout his career and why it’s so important to him…

I am delighted to be involved as a Mentor with the 2018 Oxford SYP Mentoring Scheme. I founded the Mentoring scheme for the SYP back in 2009 beginning with 10 volunteer mentors from various companies and sectors including Trevor Dolby, Richard Hart, Iain McGregor, Rachel Lynch, and Brenda Stones. The initial mentorships were successful and almost a decade later the SYP scheme is still going strong in London, Edinburgh and Oxford. This is great to see!

I established the mentoring scheme and strongly support it because it is a very valuable learning and networking opportunity for participants within our industry (it’s used widely across many publishing industry organisations; I am now Chair of the STM Early Careers Mentoring Scheme).

What benefits do I see mentoring providing members of the SYP?

  • Creativity and problem solving: through bouncing ideas off mentors and receiving the benefit of the mentor’s experience.
  • Increased competence: through tailoring development to the mentee’s individual needs, mentoring helps them acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are directly relevant to their job and will improve job performance.
  • Increased motivation and satisfaction: through the personal, relevant nature of the development.
  • Career development: through helping the mentee to set longer-term, realistic goals.
  • Improved employability: through enhancing the mentee’s competence and inspiring them to take responsibility for their own development and career.
  • Moral support: through the mentor listening and acting as a confidential sounding board.
    Increased networking opportunities and industry awareness: through the mentor giving or suggesting access to a wider network in other parts of the industry. The cross-company aspect is beneficial as mentees learn from outside of their own employer.
  • Time-effectiveness: by addressing the mentee’s needs on a one-to-one, individual basis.

One of the key things, for all this to happen, is for the mentee’s goals to be well-considered, realistic and achievable at the outset.

I have benefitted from several mentors in my time within academic publishing. One of them was Gordon Graham, late CEO of Butterworths and McGraw Hill, and Founding Editor of the international publishing journal LOGOS (recommended reading). There is a great interview of him here which SYP members may find of interest.


Jason MitchellAcquisition Editor, Serials and Handbooks, Elsevier

Twitter: @JMitchellPub



If that hasn’t convinced you to apply, you can read more about the success stories of SYP mentoring schemes on our Press Forward blog here!