Careers Network Mentoring Scheme
BA Modern Languages with Business Management, 2018
Introduction - Careers Network Mentoring Scheme
Hi, my name is Hannah. I'm a Modern Languages and Business graduate from the University of Birmingham in 2018 and I'm now a Law student. I took part in the Careers Network Mentoring Scheme this year, in 2020. My mentor is the Head of Education and Operations at a healthcare regulator and she has previously worked in the justice sector. We've been meeting about once a month since January and we've also met once in person, before lockdown. I was also able to attend one of her online council meetings to see how her regulatory body worked together.
I initially joined the Mentoring Scheme because I wanted some support finding a job in the legal industry. At face value, it didn't seem like it would work because my mentor was no longer in the legal or justice industries, but I realised that finding a job is more than just filling in an application. It also involves my communication skills and public speaking when attending careers events and so on. So, these last six months we've been working on my public speaking skills and, whilst it's been difficult during lockdown, I did manage to come second in a commercial awareness competition at my Law school which involved giving a presentation in the final stages. Hopefully my mentor and I will be keeping in touch, and I hope our relationship will continue after this programme ends.
Advice from mentor - Careers Network Mentoring Scheme
One piece of advice I got from my mentor was to ‘know your enemy’. That probably sounds more aggressive than I would like. But the idea is that you get to know the people that you work with, or you want to work with, understand what makes them tick and what makes them care to do something, and so on. This applies in the world of work and also at university, for example with group projects. Making the effort to get to know your colleagues and peers and actively following up with them on this makes a big difference in achieving what you want as a team and as an individual.
Top Tip for mentorship - Careers Network Mentoring Scheme
My top tip for making the most of the mentoring opportunity is to be honest with yourself about what you want from the get-go. Obviously discuss this with your mentor at the beginning and that will shape your relationship and the outcome for the better. My mentor introduced me to new ideas and opportunities that I wouldn't have considered before and that was all because we chatted at the start about what we wanted to achieve out of the relationship.
I guess following on from this, my other tip would be to do your homework. Hopefully you won't get any real homework from your mentor. But usually what would happen with my mentor is we would chat in our meetings about what to improve on, what to do next, and try next. And then I would go and research it, or read up about it, or even do it/try out one of her tips in real life. Then, at the following meetings, we would discuss what I discovered or learnt from it.