What to expect from our mentorship scheme

Posted on August 26, 2021 in Scotland

Last week we announced the opening of our mentorship scheme applications for 2021 and we thought, just in case you were thinking of applying, that it would be a good idea to let you know a little bit more about the scheme and share some thoughts from previous mentees.

The mentorship scheme is a great way for publishing hopefuls to receive personalised, structured career guidance from publishing experts, learn more about the industry and work on the key skills needed to progress within it. When you are matched with a mentor, which we will do based on areas of interest, you will have at least four 40-minute meetings over a period of six months that can be done digitally or in-person depending on the preferences of both the mentor and mentee.

This year we have two different strands to the scheme, Into is for those who have had little to no publishing experience before such as students, graduates, interns, jobseekers or those looking to change career path, and Ahead is for those already working in the industry and looking to take the next step in their career.

If you follow us on Twitter then you may have already noticed that we have announced a few of our mentors taking part in the 2021 scheme, so far we have Kirstin Lamb – Senior PR and Rights Manager at Barrington Stoke, Claire Withers – Managing Editor at Hodder Gibson, Karyn McMurray – Editor at Floris Books, Fiona McGlade – Associate Publisher at Collins Learning…and there are still more to come. Be sure to keep up with the Twitter thread to find out who else will be mentoring and if you haven’t seen it yet then just click here.

Now that you know a little more about the scheme it feels like a good time to hear what some of the mentees from last year had to say about their experiences…

“If you’re a publishing hopeful anywhere in Scotland, I cannot recommend the SYP Scotland mentorship scheme highly enough. I was lucky enough to be a mentee in the 2020/21 cohort, while I was working towards my MSc in Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University, and I’d say my biggest takeaway was that it gave me a huge confidence boost! It’s intimidating trying to break into publishing, because it’s so ridiculously competitive – but my mentor gave me invaluable advice on improving my CV, cover letter and interview answers, as well as some insider insights that really helped me get to grips with the industry. In fact, I loved my mentorship so much that I applied to be on the SYP Scotland Committee the following spring, and am now the Treasurer…and yes, my mentor helped me with that application, too!” – Beth.

“I found the SYP mentorship scheme very helpful both personally and professionally. With the help of my mentor, I have been able to improve my CV and cover letter skills as well as develop more confidence in my own abilities and social skills. Even though Covid provided its own set of challenges, my mentor and I were able to use those to further improve my email and online correspondence skills, which are really important in the publishing industry. It has been a great experience and I would highly recommend anyone thinking about applying to go for it!” – Emma.

“The SYP mentorship programme has been an absolutely invaluable experience that has provided me with the knowledge and insight to get me where I am today. Joanna was so insightful and supportive throughout our chats, giving me hints and tips for applications and making industry connections. All her support has made such an impact that, in the last few weeks, I’ve started as an editorial assistant at an independent magazine publisher!!” – Joanna.

“Last year I had worthwhile mentorship from Alice Hamilton-Cox, the Sales Executive at Sandstone Press in Inverness. Throughout the six months, we had a series of zoom calls where I learnt about her career progression, daily responsibilities and picked up lots of helpful advice on how to make myself stand out in the job hunt.

When I did eventually land a role in marketing (swapping books for candles) Alice was kind enough to reach out to her larger network and colleagues for further resources. Through the mentorship, I got a good grasp of both publishing and the day to day of Sales and would thoroughly recommend the program.” – Theresa.

The submissions for the mentorship scheme are open until the 17th of September and you can apply for either strand via the links below.

Into: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfFWRQWGb_RTKcHmRI1xCoT2MrWnecnsytJ79JfvWu1JEQZVA/viewform

Ahead: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSezTcye1vx3Y0XLU-blYDoJRSE-kwwjOi34qbOD15V8YCZMqQ/viewform

Hopefully, this has all been useful information but if there are any burning questions that you still have then you can head to the FAQ page or you can reach out to us through our email or Twitter.