Glasgow Caledonian University scheme gives graduates a career boost in the face of the pandemic

Economic Transformation in our Nation

Universities have a strong culture of delivery which aligns closely with the Scottish Government’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation. We’ve curated a set of 19 stories to show how universities support people, businesses, industries and Scotland’s regions towards economic transformation.

Mentoring & internship scheme to support graduate success

Glasgow Caledonian University is known for its commitment to employability and focus on employer engagement. Recognising that the pandemic created the hardest environment for new graduates for more than a generation, in 2020 the University launched MINT, which stands for Mentoring, Internships, Networking and Talk, in a bid to give new graduates the best possible chance of securing employment.  MINT is backed by the support of the GCU Foundation of which Sir Alex Ferguson CBE is the founding donor.

The MINT Programme has now successfully supported more than 2,500 graduates from the Classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022, pairing them with a relevant alumni mentor, providing them with paid internships, or providing networking opportunities through a Captains of Industry talk series. MINT creates catalytic opportunities for GCU students and graduates, potentially transforming their career prospects in an otherwise uncertain labour market.

Rachael Armour studied International Events Management and graduated from GCU in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, entering a very scary and uncertain employment market. Thanks to the support offered by the MINT Programme, she was able to complete an internship with Celtic Connections. Rachael said:

“Getting the internship gave me a real confidence boost. I also really enjoyed working for such a fun festival, and a great group of people. I feel lucky for that to be one of my first experiences working in events. It allowed me to learn many relevant skills, and I was able to help with lots of different aspects of the festival, giving me an opportunity to get a broad understanding of many different roles. As a result, I had lots of experience to demonstrate in job interviews which I think definitely got me the job I am currently in.”

Two years after graduation, Rachael is now an Events Executive for the Hilton Glasgow.

MINT has had exceptional buy-in and participation from students, alumni and industry partners. So far it has supported over 50 Glasgow Caledonian students into paid and fully-funded internship positions to help them gain valuable industry experience. One in four student interns have secured a permanent role as a result.

Ross was studying for a computer aided engineering degree at the University. Thanks to MINT he undertook a 12-week internship with Katrick Technologies which lead to a permanent position with the company as an Engineering Design Analyst. He said:

“Working at Katrick Technologies gave me the chance to apply the knowledge gained at university, as well as the opportunity to learn new skills and software. Working with a multi-disciplinary team helped me and the other interns to develop our soft skills such as dealing with suppliers, and explaining engineering problems to management. I’m absolutely delighted to now be working with Katrick permanently in a graduate level role.”

The mentoring side of the programme sees final-year students paired with an experienced GCU alumni mentor to provide industry advice, guidance and support to help their mentee in their next career steps. 1,500 graduates have volunteered so far as mentors, with over 640 students having completed the programme to date.

Key Points:

National Strategy for Economic Transformation themeSkilled workforce and fairer and more equal society

Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University

Location: Glasgow

  • 2,500 graduates have been supported through the MINT programme.
  • One in four student interns have secured a permanent role as a result.