University of Oulu, 2016


Mentoring is a relationship between an experienced individual with a HE degree and a Master's degree or doctoral student. During the roughly six-month mentoring programme, confidential mentor-mentee meetings and discussions focus on the student, mentee. Mentoring is a voluntary activity. It aims at supporting the student in decision-making and career planning and management.

The student, mentee, sets targets to mentoring and communicates them to the mentor. The mentee actively manages the mentoring relationship: suggests meetings, plans them, prepares and reflects on how the mentoring targets are being met. Discussion topics often include finding the first job after graduation, career path, strengths and weaknesses, how to make the most of the remaining studies, articulating skills and competencies, job seeking documents and work-personal life balance. The application period for Master's degree students is annually in August-September and for doctoral students either in May-June or in August-September (see further down for more information).

The mentors enter the mentoring programme as they are sharing their expertise and experience in the mentor-mentee meetings. In the mentor, the mentee can see one potential future career path. The mentor listens, questions, challenges and gives honest feedback. The mentor helps the mentee their full potential. The mentor, also, can be challenged, learns, gets to analyse own reasoning and widens networks. Mentors can sign up here year-round.

During mentoring, the university organises three meetings for all mentors and mentees (kick-off meeting, mid-way meeting, final meeting). In addition, the mentor and the mentee agree on private meetings, usually once a month.


Schedule 2018-2019 for Master's degree mentees and their mentors
Schedule for doctoral students will be confirmed in this page as soon as possible.

8. –29.10. at 12 (noon)
Application period for Master's degree students, possibly also for doctoral students.
Mentors can sign up here year-round. Please sign-up by November 2nd 2018, if you wish to participate as a mentor during academic year 2018-2019.

9.10.2018 Infosession for students, Tellus Innovation Arena / Stage
14.00 in Finnish
15.00 in English
Mentor: we are happy to visit your organisation and present the programme. Please contact for more information.

Students will receive their interview time by email. All students will be interviewed.

31.10.-2.11.2018, Interviews for students, Tellus Innovation Arena / Horizon
Interviews daily 8-16. All students receive their interview time 29.10. by email
Mentors will not be interviewed.

Selection will be announced to mentors and mentees.

30.11.2018 Mentee (students) training session, Tellus Innovation Arena / Stage  
9.00 in Finnish
10.00 in English

4.12.2018 at 16.30 / 17.15, venue TBC
Kick-off meeting for all mentors and mentees
Mentors at 16.30, mentees join at 17.15

Mentor-mentee meetings start, usually once a month, at least 3 times during the programme

12.2.2019 16.30 Tellus Innovation Arena / Stage
Mid-way meeting for all mentors and mentees. You can attend no matter if your mentor/mentee attends.

Mentor-mentee meetings continue

25.4.2019 Tellus Innovation Arena / Stage
17.4.2018 at 16.30 Tellus Innovation Arena / Stage
Final meeting for all mentors and mentees. Programme ends.


Becoming a mentor

Anyone with a higher education degree and some years of working experience can become a mentor. Those wishing to mentor a doctoral student should preferably have a doctoral degree. The degree does not have to be earned at the University of Oulu. Sign up here to become a mentor.  We will contact you in September-October to confirm if we were able to find you a suitable match; we might not find a suitable match for all mentors.

Mentors are needed from large, middle-sized and small companies, the public sector, NGOs and business owners. We would like you to have some years of working experience after graduation. Mentors need to be able to meet with the student at least 3 times during the 6-month mentoring period. Other than that, all it takes to become a mentor is an interest towards supporting a student and willingness to openly share own experiences. No previous mentoring experience is needed. It would be good if the mentor lives in the Oulu area or would be willing to see the student in Oulu at least a couple of times. Meetings via Skype, social media or other methods are also possible.

Mentoring often takes a couple of hours per month, depending on how often you will see your mentee. The minimum number of mentor-mentee meetings is 3. The mentee (student) manages the mentoring relationship, sets targets for mentoring and each meeting and plans an agenda the meetings.

The university matches mentors and mentees based on the information both parties give in their application/sign-up forms. The students are interviewed before the matching process. Usually the mentor has a similar educational backgroung (major) as the mentee but sometimes another factor might be more important, for example entrepreneurial experience.

University of Oulu alumni receive information about becoming a mentor in the university newsletter that you can get by joining the University of Oulu Alumni Network.


Student: become a mentee

  • If you are interested in becoming a mentee, please have a look at the 19.9.2017 info session presentation

The application period for Master's degree students is annually in August-September and for doctoral students either in May-June or in August-September. Information and a link to the application form can be found on this page and in Toodo once the application period is open. Doctoral students receive information about the mentoring programme from the University of Oulu Graduate School.

During the application period, we strongly encourage applicants to attend an info session about the programme. All applicants will be interviewed and notified of the selection. Students who are selected to participate will attend a training session. Students can only participate once during studies. Doctoral students may participate during their PhD studies even if they already participated during Master's studies. 

All Master's degree or doctoral students can apply. We may have to limit the number of participants. Priority is given to applicants close to graduation and to applicants with little or no previous job experience that is related to their studies. If you feel like it is hard to grasp your own skills and competencies or even undestand you might have quite a few of them let alone articulate them, you might be the ideal candidate to take the programme. Some applicants have a very unclear picture of the future career, some have no idea what it might look like - both kind of applicants are likely to benefit from the programme.

Mentoring aims at better self-assessment ability, undertanding own competencies, skills and opportunities as well as how to communicate them. During the mentoring programme, you will discuss career and study related topics you find important with your mentor. Your mentor comes from the UniOulu mentor pool. The mentor-mentee match is made by the university. Mentors will have several years of working experience and are often a University of Oulu graduates.

Mentoring is about personal development and gaining a better understanding of yourself, your targets and opportunities though mentor-mentee discussions. You will not be offered a traineeship of a job by your mentor nor should you ask for it. Mentoring is demanding and requires commitment throughout the whole programme: an applicant must be interested in career planning and management, motivated to learn and interested in self-development and willing to commit to manage the mentoring relationship. You must show responsibility and commitment: you define the targers, plan meetings and agenda possible with another student, prepare for meetings, manage the meeting schedule.

Your mentor will not give your answers as to what courses to complete or what coices to make to get that first job you really want or a dream start for your career. It is you and only you who can know your aspirations, set goals and work to reach your goals. Your mentor will not solve all if any of your problems; that is your role. But they will help and they will support you.


For more information please contact

Karoliina Kekki, firstname.lastname (at)
University of Oulu Graduate School, UniOGS (Mentoring for doctoral students): Teemu Pennanen, firstname.lastname (at)

Last updated: 11.6.2018