Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme
History and Political Sciences, 2022
Mentored by Adam Fowle
Please tell us a bit about yourself, your mentorship and what you gained from taking part in the mentoring scheme.
Hi, my name is Mansoor Choudhry, and I’m studying history and political science. I will be graduating this year in June. The ALMP mentoring scheme has been a fantastic opportunity to engage with somebody who has been through an exciting and prosperous career. My mentor, the former CEO of Mitchells and Butlers and former CEO of Tesco Hospitality, among other roles, has proven invaluable to my growth. Adam and I would have an hour-long conversation once a month where we would discuss and explore topics ranging from the graduate job process (assessment centres, interviews, etc.), career progression, and life lessons. These conversations allowed me to first create a mental image of what I wanted to do with my career, and then gave me the support to try to fulfil these goals.
Did you have any preconceptions about the mentoring experience that were challenged as a result of your experience?
Initially, I was anxious about speaking to such a high-level former executive of major organisations. Before my mentoring experience, I had never spoken to a person of Adam's calibre, and I was nervous. In our first meeting, however, these feelings quickly disappeared as Adam was not only warm and welcoming but also treated me like an equal and wanted to learn about my experiences. This has subsequently raised both my confidence and self-belief as I have realised that I can communicate and create a relationship with anyone despite their position or former position in society.
What is one piece of advice you learnt from your mentor you could share with other students/graduates?
One piece of advice that I have taken from my mentor is to truly understand yourself, your passions dreams and ambitions and to put these at the forefront of everything you do. This will then enable you to have a real, tangible goal to work towards which you can then plan and take steps to achieve. Not only will this make studying at University easier, but this will also push you to develop key competencies and qualities that you will need to succeed.
Can you share any top tips for making the most of the mentoring opportunity and how to be an effective mentee?
Top tips that I would share for making the most of the mentoring opportunity would be that a mentee must be proactive. This means that the mentee should prepare a plan for every mentoring session and have in place key topics or areas to talk about. This not only provides structure to your meetings, but it also gives your mentor a clear view of what it is that you would like to get out of the experience
Why would you recommend the scheme to other students?
I would recommend the scheme to other students as you get to meet with a professional who has been in your position and has the knowledge, experience and life lessons to really help you plan and achieve your goals. Additionally, a mentor can help you figure out where you would like to go after university and how to go about it.