On Purpose


What do On Purpose mentors do?

Mentors are the most frequent regular support for Associates. They provide guidance and challenge to Associates and quality assurance to the host organisation during their placement. Topics you might work through with an Associate range from reviewing a board presentation to navigating organisational politics. Mentors also get to know the Associates on a personal level and help them with their careers beyond On Purpose.

What is the commitment mentors have to make?

On average, we estimate this is about one hour per week. Every second week mentors meet face-to-face with their Associate to help them with whatever their hot topics are in their placement. During the remaining weeks, they might check in briefly by phone or email if any specific issues or deadlines are looming.

What kinds of people do you look for to be a mentor?

Mentors need to be able to help Associates deliver as much value to each placement as possible, during the six months that the Associate is doing their placement. We don’t require you to have specific social enterprise or social sector experience, but a strong transferable skill set. 

You will need to have worked in jobs that have given you exposure to many different organisations in a short amount of time and where you have worked with senior stakeholders. Our mentors often have some experience in top-flight management consultancies, private equity firms or banks, although mentors with relevant experience from other places are also very welcome.

What will I get out of it?
As a mentor you will not only work with two smart and highly motivated Associates, but you will also get great experience of the placement organisation you are working with and so gain insight into how some cutting edge organisations are harnessing the power of business to achieve social benefit. In addition, we make sure you have plenty of opportunities to meet and network with other parts of the On Purpose family, be that other mentors, coaches, trainers or placement hosts.

A recent mentor said: “Being an On Purpose mentor has been a fantastic mix of fun, rewarding and extremely helpful for the day job. The last of these was the most surprising, but obvious when you think about it – getting to know some of the most talented people and exciting enterprises working at the intersection of business and society is always going to be a great investment of time. The fact that everyone involved is so lovely and fun is the icing on the cake.”

Do you pay mentors?

No, all our mentors volunteer.

When can I start?

We look for new mentors twice a year: One cohort starts in April, and a second cohort starts in October. You are welcome to express your interest at any time of the year but we are likely to begin conversations just a 1-2 months ahead of a cohort start date.