Leiden Alumni Mentor Netwerk

Leiden University wants to give young alumni a good start at the beginning of their career. One way we can help them with the questions they have and the choices are faced with is by taking advantage of the knowledge and experience of older Leiden alumni. We do this through an online mentor network.

Why a mentor network?

Young alumni often have a network of their own that mainly consists of people who are in the same stage in their lives as they are. Through the mentor network they have an easy way to ask for advice from more experienced alumni who once faced the same choices. The common background they have at Leiden University makes it easier for them to establish contact.

As a mentor you can help a young alumnus get further along in his career by sharing your experience. Furthermore, the network provides you with the opportunity to develop your coaching skills, to expand your network and to exchange ideas with young talent. For a mentee, the mentor network provides an ideal opportunity to spar over the choices you face so as to learn from other people’s experiences.

How does it work?

The Leiden Alumni Mentor Network is an online platform that allows mentors and mentees to find each other easily.

The mentor network uses the online platform Dwillo. In a few simple steps you can sign up either as a mentor or a mentee

  1. Both experienced and young alumni can sign up as mentors or mentees at .
  2. After you have activated your account, you complete your profile. This can also be done using an existing LinkedIn profile. You will be asked for relevant information such as your work experience and educational background, as well as subject matter and areas of interest. You can also indicate your preferred means of contact (e.g. by e-mail, telephone or a meeting in person).

  3. Using various search criteria, mentees can search for a mentor who they would like to contact. The platform can also be used by mentors to find a mentee.

  4. You can either send a mentor request yourself or receive one from a mentee. If the request is accepted by both parties, the contact information becomes visible so that an initial meeting can be arranged.

More information for mentees and mentors alike can be found on the website.



“Initially I felt a certain a barrier to contacting a mentor and to coming right out and saying that I wanted to talk about career options and outlooks, but my prospective mentor was quick to send me a enthusiastic and positive response to my request. Over a cup of coffee in his home office we talked about the course his career had taken, what choices and considerations he had made and how unpredictable things can be. He was quite candid and also took a clear position about what choices I could make. It was an enjoyable conversation, and it was very helpful to hear someone else’s fresh outlook on your own ideas about your career. At the end of the conversation, I was given an additional networking tip for contacting one of my mentor’s acquaintances. It later turned out that he was looking for another trainee for his own supervisor training programme, and that cup of coffee in Voorschoten opened up a career in supervision for me!”

“Mentor work has given me the opportunity to come into contact with people outside my existing network. My mentor helps me discover new opportunities and develop new insights. It is quite enjoyable to engage in goal-oriented sparring with someone who is experienced and has been in the same situation. I think that this mentor–mentee relationship is going bear a lot of fruit in the future, so I’m extremely happy that Leiden University has started this!”


"I have now had contact with my mentee several times. First by e-mail and after that with Skype, because he’s in the US at the moment and is coming back in mid-June. He’s looking for support with planning and looking for a new career when his current contract runs out (in two years). After we had exchanged some information, I gave him a bit of homework. It’s just great to be able to help him out!”

Faculty mentor network

The Faculty of Law started a mentor network intended specifically for (graduating) students in the faculty back in 2014. They can use the network to come into contact with law alumni who can help them with choices in the area of a master’s degree/specialisation or finding their way around the job market.

Additionally, the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences will soon be starting with a Leiden Science mentor network. They will be focussing specifically on (graduating) students at the faculty. Other faculties may follow suit later.

The Leiden Alumni mentor network differs from these faculty mentor networks in that it is geared towards young alumni (through 35 years of age) coming from all faculties and degree programmes rather than towards students. The focus here is not on questions relating to the (last stage of the) degree programme, but rather on matters ranging from career issues to personal/professional development.

Alumni who have signed up as mentors for the Leiden Alumni mentor network may simply indicate in their profile whether they would also like to make themselves available for a faculty mentor network.

Sign up

You can sign up year-round as either mentor or mentee at www.dwillo.com/leidenalumni.

For questions about the Leiden Alumni mentor network, you can contact us at info@alumni.leidenuniv.nl .

Last Modified: 23-06-2015