Apply for our Young Journalists Mentoring Scheme

The Commonwealth Journalists Association is proud to be launching our first ever mentoring scheme for young journalists in the new year.

We are giving 10 people around the UK the chance to be mentored by an experienced journalist or media specialist for six months, with the aim of helping them to make the next steps in their career.

This is a pilot scheme which will start after applications close at the beginning of 2023 and last for 6 months.

We decided to launch the scheme after young journalists expressed interest in receiving further help and guidance in their careers at our CJA Journalism Conference 2022, which we held in Birmingham just ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Aims of the scheme

Our ambitions are for this scheme to be beneficial to both mentor and mentee. We want mentees to gain invaluable experience to help them advance in their careers and feel supported as they aim to grow in a competitive but rewarding industry.

Success from the scheme could look like many things, from applying for or getting a new job to gaining a work experience placement to working out a career plan and what your next steps are.

We hope mentors will gain new skills in leadership and communication, and feel positive about being able to help younger people and pass on their wisdom to a new generation.

While the scheme officially lasts for 6 months, we welcome the chance for mentor and mentee to form a beneficial working relationship and stay in touch after the scheme ends too if they choose to.

The mentors

Our mentors come from a range of different areas of journalism and the media, but they all have a wealth of experience to share with their mentee.

The BBC, The Guardian, London Evening Standard, The Financial Times, The Independent, The Observer, Channel 4, The Mirror and Metro are among the publications and broadcasters that our mentors for 2023 have, and in some cases still do, work for.

Specialist topic areas range from business and economics journalism to foreign reporting, investigative journalism, politics and news. Some mentors come from a broadcast background while others have worked in traditional newspapers or online and digital reporting.

It’s important to note we cannot guarantee mentees will be matched exactly with a mentor who has followed their dream career path but when going through the selection process we will endeavour to match mentees with the mentor we feel will help them, challenge them and support them in the most beneficial ways.

It’s therefore important that applicants fill in the application form with enough detail to share their interests and ambitions. If you aren’t sure what specific ambitions you have within journalism yet or you’re considering several options that’s ok too! Just make sure you say this in your application.

About career mentoring

Broadly, career mentoring involves a mentor with experience in a chosen industry holding regular guidance sessions with a mentee, who is at an early stage of their career in the same industry.

The goals and aims of the sessions are largely dependent on the mentee’s personal ambitions and these should be laid out between the mentor and mentee in the first session of the scheme.

However, some typical goals could be:

  • Helping the mentee break into their desired career, get on the career ladder, work out the next step in their career or generally navigate the working world.
  • Helping the mentee with their CV, cover letters and job or competition applications.
  • Assisting the mentee with preparing for training and future study.
  • For the mentee to simply meet someone who works in the field they want to, learn how they got there, what they studied and what contacts they needed.
  • Help the mentee navigate current job-specific problems in their workplace.
  • Help the mentee to figure out exactly what they want from their job and future career.
  • Assisting the mentee with developing a personal brand and selling themselves
  • Helping the mentee practice with interviews and presentations.
  • Discussing the development of industry-specific skills and general professional skills where appropriate.

How to apply

We are giving 10 people the opportunity to be mentored by an expert in the journalism and media industry. This is open to people over 18 across the UK.

If you would like to apply for the CJA mentoring scheme 2023, please click the link to take you to the online application form.

Link to CJA Mentoring Scheme 2023 application form

Applications have been extended to 8 January 2023. We will then review all the applications and successful applicants will be contacted by end-January.

Please get in touch if you have any questions or if you need any assistance with the application form.