Anna Parker

Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme 
BA Political Science and International Relations, 2021

What have you enjoyed most about the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme?

I think what I've enjoyed the most about being part of the ALMP this year has definitely been that personal relationship which I've developed with my mentor. I don't think any of us could have foreseen graduating in the middle of a pandemic, but it's been so nice to have that support there this year to talk through any worries or concerns I was having and it's also nice to know that I think going on into the future I'll still have that same relationship with Sarah, so that's one of the things.

Then the second thing I think I've enjoyed also is getting to know I guess new people through the programmes that's mentors and mentees. So back in April we had a resilience workshop which talked through the psychological background of being resilient and I think that came at exactly the right time because I was about a week away from submitting my dissertation and I think I was very stressed, and you know working very hard and it was nice to kind of have that breather and meet new people and kind of hear different people's stories as well. So that's both of the things I think I've enjoyed the most.

How do you think mentoring has helped you with your career?

I think mentoring has helped me the most in terms of overcoming those mental blocks or barriers that I think I have up. Kind of relating to any kind of self-doubt or lack of confidence. I've been able to, through my mentoring relationship with Sarah, kind of unpack those I guess, and I think it's definitely shifted my mindset to a far more positive place.

I guess in addition to that, I started off the relationship thinking I want to do law and then after some conversations with Sarah and also going away trying to answer some tough questions I think I definitely realised that I needed to pursue my passion in energy. I'm kind of hoping to go into a career in renewable energy.

Obviously, our careers paths didn't align but she was able to help me with that personal development that I needed to kind of move forward and think about my next step. So, I think those are kind of some of the ways that mentoring has helped me. But I can definitely say that I wouldn't be where I am now without it. 

What will you be doing after graduation?  

So, after graduating I'm very happy to say that I've been offered a place at the University of Edinburgh to study a master's in Energy, Society and Sustainability a bit of a mouthful. But that is just very much to do with Sarah's mentoring and her support throughout the application process. I definitely wouldn't have been able to do it without her. So, I'm very, very, excited for that and that starts in September so I'll be moving up there and I'm very, very, excited!

What is one piece of advice that was really helpful?  

The one piece of advice - goodness there's so many because I remember sitting on our zoom calls and I was scribbling down all the little pieces or like nuggets of advice that she'd given me. So, I guess I can kind of bundle it into one big piece of advice which I guess is have a bit more belief in yourself. Have a bit more positivity about your strengths and kind of be a bit more positive about your future I guess because I think I was struggling with being so critical with myself and I think because of the pandemic I think it's meant that our focus is kind of just on that. It was able to kind of re-centre myself back in and kind of readjust my mindset that you are not as bad as you think you are at all and to kind of focus more on your positives.

One of the big conversations that we had was mainly about you will offer something to a team that they might not have. So, she was saying that a team shouldn't be made up of the same 11 people, for example. Every single person should offer something different and have those different qualities and I think that actually made me feel so much better because I think I was so worried about what I wasn't rather than what I was.

So it's so nice to know that I definitely feel more positive and after those conversations and our mentoring relationship has meant that I feel a lot more positive about my future and I think I remember saying at the end of every call thank you so much you made me feel so much better and that's based on the advice that she had given me so I think a long that was a kind of a long answer but there was so much I've just kind of tried to condense it into one.


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