M&S becomes first retailer to launch alumni mentoring scheme

Marks & Spencer is launching retail’s first alumni mentoring scheme as it continues to unlock the power of its global community of passionate former colleagues. 
M&S launched its Alumni Network M&S Family just over a year ago.
// In a retail first, Marks & Spencer announces the launch of its alumni mentoring scheme
// Since launching its M&S Family alumni network a year ago, it has grown to around 10,000 members

Marks & Spencer is launching retail’s first alumni mentoring scheme as it continues to expand its global community of former colleagues.

The move, an extension of its current mentoring scheme run in partnership with Guider – will allow M&S’s growing network of 10,000 alumni to stay an active member of the M&S family while allowing current colleagues to benefit from their experience and know-how as they shape the future of the business.

M&S launched its Alumni Network M&S Family just over a year ago and since launching, the network has grown to around 10,000 members – from Melbourne to Delhi to Chicago.


During this time the network has developed into a community that delivers for both alumni and for M&S – with alumni regularly rewarded with exclusive events, content and offers through Sparks; and M&S benefitting from a strengthened recruitment pipeline, having received over 150 job applications from alumni since December.

M&S Joint-Chief Operating Officer and Sponsor of the M&S Family Alumni Network Katie Bickerstaffe said: “M&S is founded upon a strong family spirit that has been passed down from generation to generation, and that’s what our alumni network is all about. That’s why I’m really excited we’re launching the world’s first alumni mentoring scheme in retail, allowing us to utilise the rich knowledge and experience that lies within our alumni to support our current colleagues in shaping the future of M&S.”


  • All M&S colleagues that leave the business receive an automated email inviting them to join the Alumni Network where they can opt to become an Alumni Mentor. Longstanding alumni (i.e non-recent leavers) will receive invitations via the Alumni Network.
  • As part of the mentor sign-up process with M&S partner Guider, alumni enter their M&S employment history as well as their hobbies & interests.
  • Guider uses AI to make the perfect match based on each individual.
  • The mentee (current M&S colleague) and mentor (M&S alumni) are then free to discuss how they want their relationship to work and arrange their first catch-up

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