Welcome to the WIAN mentorship scheme.

Our flagship programme, providing practical support, guidance and empowerment to entry level women pursuing opportunities in international affairs. The programme is unique in its focus, and was established to help students, graduates and early career professionals with limited work experience, advice and resources navigate the international sector.

Through WIAN mentoring, experienced professionals, managers and leaders share their skills and experiences to build the confidence and capability of entry level women. Mentoring provides the opportunity for a learning experience for both mentor and mentee, and demonstrates our focus on information and knowledge sharing at a practical level.

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Find out more about our impact in our digital brochure.

Why we do it.

Entry level candidates receive little support in getting their foot in the door, with qualified students and graduates often left with little guidance, information and even less confidence. WIAN aims to remedy this by uniting experienced and early-career women from across disciplines in international affairs.


Using our platform, participants spend 7 months engaging with one another and sharing their experiences within a safe space. With particular attention on connecting women and facilitating relationships, our programme aims to foster a culture of information sharing, encourage and empower the next generation of female leaders, and create a vital network of women from different backgrounds, capability, interests, sectors and generations.

The 3 cohorts.

Each strand of the programme is designed with entry-level women in mind.



For current undergraduate, students, apprentices and school leavers with up to, but no more than one year of paid, professional experience. If you are a student, you may must still be studying at a university/academic institution, with at least one year till completion.




For recent graduates or current postgraduate student (Master's, PhD). You should have graduated within the last two years, and have no more than two years of paid, professional experience.




For early career professionals, with a minimum of two years and a maximum of four years of paid, professional experience.

The process.

If you have further questions, head over to read our FAQ's.

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Inquirers fill in the application via the Google hosted form, until applications close.

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WIAN programme coordinators sift all applications and match mentors and mentees.

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Successful participants will be contacted by the programmes team by email, and informed/introduced to their match.

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Participants enter the 7 month, structured scheme, covering a range of topics, resources and events. Participants will document their journeys for evaluation at the end of the programme.

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Participants review their journey, progress and growth, and receive a certification of completion. Mentees and mentors are free to continue their relationship after the scheme ends.

What previous participants have to say.

Move, scroll and resize the cards below to read more.

Frequently asked questions

Mentor FAQs

How do I apply to become a mentor?

Applicants should fill in the Google-hosted form, which can be found on our website. You will need to have a Google email (Gmail) to fill in the application form.

Do I have to be a woman to be a mentor?

No! We believe diversity of experience is a good thing, and for this reason accept both male and female mentors. However to protect each relationship as a safe space, we do ask mentees to specifiy if they are comfortable to participate with a mentor of the opposite sex.

I have less than three years of professional experience. Can I still apply to be a mentor?

The WIAN Programme Coordination team looks at each application holistically, and encourages applications from individuals with significant experience in international affairs, whatever this may be. This will look different for everyone, so we ask that you specifiy your experience in your application so that the team can make an informed decision.

I'm a freelancer. Can I apply to be a mentor?

The international affairs sector is incredibly broad, varied and diverse, and freelancing and consulting is a viable career within this industry. We encourage applications from all relevant sectors, and previous mentors have held positions within government, academia, the third sector, the medical field and business. We look at applications holistically, and ask that you detail as much of your experience as possible. This will enable the Programme Coordination team to make the most informed decision.

I'm not a qualified career advisor. What sort of things can I offer my mentee?

While it is always excellent to have specific expertise, mentors are not expected to be formal career coaches. We believe that there is such a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience to be shared and this can be done in a variety of ways. However mentees do like to hear and learn from personal experiences, and as such (and amongst other things), mentors can provide support and offer advice to mentees concerning CV's and cover letters, best practice in interviews, informal career advice and future planning, access to personal/professional connections and insights into your specific field and profession.

Can I decline the offer to be a mentor?

Yes. All mentors participate in a voluntary capacity, and will be given the opportunity to accept or decline the offer. However, if the offer is accepted, mentors will be expected to participate in the programme fully, and commit for the entire 7 month duration.

Do I need to meet my mentee in person?

While this is a digital programme, we do encourage (where possible and/or convenient) mentors and mentees to meet in person. However there is no obligation, especially if the pair are not based in the same country/region. Other options include Skype, WhatsApp and other online tools and platforms to communicate virtually.

Do I need to offer my mentee work experience?

Please note that the mentoring programme is a platform and safe space for mentees to ask questions, share experiences and build relationships. Mentors can offer opinions and relevant advice but are not necessarily career’s experts. While acceptable, mentors are not expected to proof read coursework and are in no way obliged to offer work experience or jobs.

I've applied to be a mentor. Can I also apply to be a mentee?

Yes, if you meet the eligibility requirements to participate on any of the schemes your application will be considered. Whether you have also applied to be a mentor will not count against your application to participate as a mentee.

Mentee FAQs

Is there an age-limit for mentees?

Given that this is a programme is for entry-level candidates, and each scheme has a limit on the level of experience participants can have, there is an age-limit for mentees. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 28 to be eligible to participate in this programme. In the future, there will be programmes that cater to mid-to-senior level professionals.

I've participated in the programme as a mentee before. Can I apply again?

Unfortunately previous mentees that have participate in any of the three schemes cannot re-apply or re-participate in a future cohort of this specific programme. However we do encourage participants to remain in touch with their mentors, and where appropriate maintain their relationship after the scheme has officially concluded.

Why do I have to be a registered member of the network to participate as a mentee?

The WIAN mentorship scheme is an exclusive programme, and the benefit was created for officially registered members. We must maintain this to keep the selection process fair.

I'm not a member of the network. Can I still participate as a mentee on the programme?

The WIAN mentorship scheme is an exclusive programme for registered members only. Mentees are selected from our community based on their membership, application and aspirations. All submissions will be cross-checked against our membership database, and applications from unregistered individuals will not be considered.

I'm not sure which programme I qualify for. Can I apply to more than one?

Applicants should only apply for one scheme. Duplicated applications will not be considered. Please find the entry criteria to qualify for each of the programmes below:

  1. Undergraduate & Student programme: For current undergraduates, students, apprentices and school leavers with up to (but no more than) one year of paid, professional work experience).
  2. Graduate programme: For current postgraduate students, or recent graduates (within the past 2 years). Applicants can have up to, but no more than 2 years paid, professional work experience.
  3. Early Career Programme: For early career professionals with a minimum of 2 years experience and a maximum of 4 years paid, professional experience.
If you are still unsure or have any further questions, please email the Programmes Coordination team at, and a member of the team will get back to you.

I applied for a previous cohort of the programme but was unsuccessful. Can I apply again?

Yes, if you did not participate in a previous round of the programme, you are welcome to apply again. However, applications will not be counted if you were not inducted into, participated in, or have previously completed and graduated from the programme.

Each scheme has a limit on professional experience. Does voluntary work count towards professional experience?

Volunteering is an excellent way to build up your skills and experience in a particular sector or a type of organisation, amongst other things. While it won't count as paid, professional experience, at WIAN we understand the value of volunteering for entry-level candidates in getting their foot in the door, and will consider any voluntary experience as further context to inform our decision.

Do you need a copy of my CV to support my application?

No, the Programmes team will not consider CV's as a part of your application, so we kindly ask that you do not send these to us by email. The application form itself will give you the opportunity to provide us with the details of your relevant qualifications and past work experiences. We ask that you focus on completing the form in it's entirety, providing as much detail as possible in a conscise way that is easy to follow, as this will be used to determine your suitability for the scheme and to match you with your mentor.

Programme FAQs

How long is the programme?

The mentorship scheme runs for a duration of 7 months. The 2021 scheme will run from March to September 2020.

Can my mentorship relationship continue after the programme ends?

Yes! We encourage mentees and mentors to stay in touch, and continue to build deep personal and professional relationships with one another. Make sure you send the WIAN Programme Coordination team pictures and updates!

What can I expect when the programme begins?

Mentees and mentors will be introduced to one another, and will embark on a 7 month journey together. Each month is structured around a specific career development topic, and each mentorship pair will be required to reflect on the issues as it pertains to their professional and personal development. Both mentees and mentors will have the opportunity to attend career relevant webinars and online events over the course of the programme. Alongside this, the Coordination team will share relevant job opportunities, career guidance and organise events and workshops with industry professionals. You’ll be able to engage with other programme participants, across the other cohorts and mentors as well. The Programme Coordination team will be in regular communication with programme participants, for feedback, to address any concerns and provide a point of contact with the organisation.

I've applied to participate in the 2020 programme. How long untill I hear the outcome?

Applications will close at the end of January, and successful mentees and mentors will be contacted and introduced to one another at the beginning of February. If you don't hear from the Programme Coordination team by mid-February, on this occassion, your application has been unsuccesful.

I don't want my email address to be added to any mailing lists. Can I still participate?

To be successful in getting a place on the scheme, you will need to consent to your email address being added to our internal mailing list. This is a vital means of communication during the programme, and the main way the Programme Coordination team will contact you. Your email will only be used with regards to the WIAN mentorship scheme, and your details will not be shared with third parties. Participants are free to unsubscribe from the mailing list once their programme cohort has ended.

I'm not based in the UK. Can I still participate in the programme?

Yes you can! WIAN's mentorship scheme is a virtual programme, with mentees and mentors based all over the world. Previous participants have been based in Africa, Australia, the Middle East and regional Europe.

Can I send in my CV or cover letter to support my application?

We do not accept CV’s, cover letters, references or any other supporting documents, as we ask applicants to detail as much of their experience in their application form. We take a holistic view of applications, and are interested in how applicants think they will benefit, and support the mentorship relationship.