Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme
BA Political Science and International Relations, 3rd year student
Mentored by Sarah Cox
Tell us about your mentoring experience
Hello, I’m Molly I’m studying Political Science and International Relations. I’m currently in my third year and I’m being mentored by Sarah Cox. Sarah Cox has experience with the Civil Service, the Bank of England, Ofgem, just as a little background, and I have had an incredibly good experience with being her mentee. It's very clearly a mutual relationship, which I really respect. It isn't a case of we meet, she tells me to do stuff and then I leave, it is a lot more mutually beneficial than that. I get to tell her stuff about what I’m interested in and we sort of come to this nice middle ground where she's giving me advice but she's also learning from me, and I think that's really valuable.
I’m interested in space policy, that's what I want to go into when I graduate. Anything to do with international relations and outer space, that's what I went into this mentorship knowing. I knew that was what I wanted to do, and everyone's going to be different right. Some people are going to go in and have so many different options and are so excited and what one do you choose, and that's what your mentorship is about. But because I already had this rather narrow idea of what I wanted to do, it then became, how do we get there? And what do you want within that? Do you want to go in the academic sphere? Do you want to go into an international organisation?
The thing I really appreciate is that Sarah took the time to learn about space politics, because it is a growing topic. I really appreciate how she took the time to learn about it and then she could give me really personalised advice.
What is one piece of advice your mentor gave you?
The biggest and best piece of advice Sarah gave me was: network. This is going to be more applicable to some jobs than others, but particularly with politics networking is so crucial. I’ve had some really good opportunities that I would not have been able to engage with if it hadn't have been for the people I’ve reached out to. Last week I went to a conference in Colorado. It was specifically a space conference, a lot to do with space policy was there. I wouldn't have been able to do that if Sarah hadn't have told me here's who you should be networking with, and also giving me advice on how to do that networking.
What advice would you give to students interested in the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme?
A piece of advice that I would give is to continue to take opportunities. I say continue because you've already signed up for this mentorship which makes me get the feeling you already take opportunities. Don't let that falter. That is going to be a very good strength throughout your career and it is a good one to keep exercising. I’d say that's a pretty sound piece of advice, I’m glad that I take as many opportunities as I do.
A final thing is everyone gets mentored by different people so there's going to be such a different experience but the one universal thing in my opinion is that you're going to be nervous before your first session. It's just, there's so many worries to be had like what if we're not compatible, what if I’m not far enough where I need to be, I just I feel so behind while we're talking. That's a hard one because I was nervous and I was looking through all of Sarah's old mentee who were saying 'oh I was nervous too and then we met and we started talking and I wasn't nervous' and I was like huh, that doesn't make me less nervous, like it's good to know that, but I still was.
You're going to feel like that but it will be fine, it absolutely will don't sweat it. Me saying that won't make you not sweat it, but I just want to offer that reassurance. You will be compatible. I got on great with Sarah, we get along really well, brilliant person. I couldn't recommend this mentoring scheme more, honestly it's fantastic. So thank you.