NEMO One to One Mentoring: Impressions from NEMO’s new successful training offer

© National Gallery, Group for Education in Museums (GEM)

© National Gallery, Group for Education in Museums (GEM)

In 2022, 10 persons connected to NEMO member organisations were selected to participate in NEMO’s new capacity building offer One to One Mentoring. The member exclusive training opportunity is organised in partnership with the Group for Education in Museums (GEM). The third call for applications is open right now and closes on 20 February 2022.

Both mentees and mentors of the two rounds in 2022 are pleased with the experience and found the NEMO One to One Mentoring to be very beneficial for their professional development. As an example, one mentee expressed: “I found the match in mentor was very good and made it easy to open up and get a more in-depth conversation, in that sense I find the programme very useful and think it will help many others to get new insights to their dissemination and development in the museums educational department.”

The mentors are based in the United Kingdom and the following countries were represented by the mentees: Bulgaria, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Norway and Romania. Volunteer mentors and the mentees were matched by interests, skills and experience. The mentors are museum interpretation and learning professionals connected to the GEM network and typically work as consultants, at cathedrals and independent museums within the UK.

The mentees had access to 3 sessions à 90 minutes with their mentors. The spring round of mentees and mentors met between March and July. The autumn participants met between September and December. The mentees and mentors get to set up their own sessions according to their availability.

The participants are satisfied with the experience. One NEMO mentee said that “It was a wonderful experience from which I've learned so many useful methods of approaching the audiences, create my activity plan and communicate with the beneficiary. My mentor provided not only a model of a worksheet, but also some specific websites from which I was able to take resources for my daily activity.”

Benefits of cross-border connections

Both parties found the opportunity to share ideas across borders and to learn from different contexts, histories and perspectives to be beneficial as it created exciting and inspirational conversations and provided learning opportunities. A GEM mentor elaborated by saying “Learning about the similarities and differences in the way we approach things was the main benefit. Connecting with a colleague outside of the UK was a really rewarding experience, and a great demonstration of what the online mentor process allows us to do.”

In an evaluation, NEMO mentees expressed the following types of impacts from the mentoring programme:

  • Increased understanding of how different perspectives affect our work.
  • Inspiration from and appreciation of others’ work and how they might adapt it to meet their needs.
  • Practical techniques and knowledge that they could implement in their practice straight away.
  • Increased understanding of future professional development needs.
  • Practical techniques and knowledge that they could implement in their practice straight away.

The GEM mentors appreciated that they could expand their knowledge about the museum and heritage context in other cultures and gain new understanding about different approaches to museum education.

A GEM mentor appreciate that by being part of the opportunity, they got to expand their international connections and gained easier access to networking opportunities in Europe: “Since mentoring, I have attended a conference in Europe and was introduced by my mentee to some of her network. Without this opportunity I wouldn’t have thought that that conference was for me.”

Apply now for the 2023 mentoring

The third call for applications is open right now. 5 successful applicants will be matched with a mentor for 3 mentoring sessions between March/April – July 2023.  Apply now for the chance to develop professionally in individualised mentoring sessions. The opportunity is especially suitable for museum professionals/museum educators with a role in learning. Applicants are only considered if they are connected to a NEMO members organisation.