Sainsbury Management Fellows

SMF Mentoring

Career and Entrepreneur Mentoring
Photo: Rob Lacey Photographer

SMFs have been mentoring ambitious young engineers for 30 years since the SMF MBA scholarship scheme was established.  The commitment to mentoring stems from SMFs’ aim to promote continuing business education to help engineers develop their skills of innovation, better management and governance.

Mentees range from engineering undergraduates to young engineers in the early years of their career.  Many of these mentees want to become business leaders in blue-chip companies or to become entrepreneurs and develop new products and services that improve people’s lives and create employment.

However, SMF also mentors engineers who pursue pure engineering careers because business skills such as strategy, leadership and marketing are equally beneficial to all engineers and their employers.

SMFs work across diverse industry sectors within large corporations, in the public sector and in charities, while others run their own successful enterprises.  They share their wealth of commercial experience and knowledge with young engineers, helping them to explore opportunities and their goals.  Working with a highly experienced professional who provides support and guidance helps to fast-track a mentee’s career development.  Of course, it is not a one-way street, mentors also learn from mentees.

Scope of SMF Mentoring Activity
In addition to running its own executive mentoring programme, where SMFs are paired with external captains of industry and SMFs mentor other Fellows, Sainsbury Management Fellows mentor the engineering undergraduates in the Royal Academy of Engineering Leaders Scholarships programme and winners of the SMF Engineers in Business competitions (link to page) run at universities.

SMF also works hard to allocate mentors to individual engineers who reach-out to SMF seeking such support.

Are you a Talented Engineer Seeking a Mentor?
SMF mentors provide support and guidance that enables mentees to forge ahead with their ambitions.  Following discussion and confirmation that SMF can provide the mentoring support requested, the allocated mentor will commit to a mentee for an agreed period and will invest time in getting to know the mentee, their capabilities, interests and aims.

The SMF mentor will be knowledgeable in their field and will pass on wisdom gained through their own business experiences. The mentee will be able to talk about their vision for their future, aspirations, where they are now and where they want to go.

The format of the mentoring is decided between the mentor and mentee – with today’s communications technology, increasingly mentoring is being conducted very successfully through, for example, video calls.

If you are a young engineer seeking a mentor for specific career progression or entrepreneurship, please contact the SMF Office with your CV and a brief explanation of why you would like an SMF mentor.

Unique Chance to Win a Top Notch Mentor in our Mentor30Engineers Competition
In this 30th anniversary year, SMF has launched Mentor30Engineers, which strengthens the Fellowships commitment to mentoring young engineers.  Mentor30Engineers is a creative-thinking/problem-solving competition which invites student engineers and recently qualified engineers to conceptualise an idea that tackles a problem in society and submit their idea to the essay competition.  The 30 best entries will each win 30 hours of career or entrepreneurship mentoring delivered over three years by Sainsbury Management Fellows.   See Mentor30Engineers for full details on the competition and how to enter.

Download Mentoring Infographic

SMF Mentoring


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The Sainsbury Management Fellows is registered as a charity: Engineers in Business Fellowship, charity number 1147203 and is a company limited by guarantee : 07807250