Introduction - Careers Network Mentoring Scheme
My name's Mark. I was at the University from 1980 to 1987. After graduating in Physics in 1983, I went on to study for a PhD in the School of Metallurgy and Material Science. My first job was as a Research Scientist but I quickly realised I wanted to do something completely different so I applied for an internal transfer within the Lucas Group and I joined their business systems engineering division. As a result of that I learned the basic tools of the trade to become a Management Consultant and after a couple of years there I started my career with the big players.
After 11 years working with the likes of Coopers and Lybrand and KPMG, I set up my own consulting practice, Consulting Associates Worldwide Limited in 2001. This itself was very successful and I focused predominantly on the UK financial sector but I also worked across other sectors. During this time I also opened a boutique hotel in Padstow and this was also very successful and as a result I was invited to join the board of the Rick Stein group back in 2021.
I'm still doing consulting and I'm still advising the Rick Stein Group. I have no idea where my career will end up next but I still have a passion for management consulting and delivering excellent projects so that's probably where I'll end up for the next few years.
Mentoring Support - Careers Network Mentoring Scheme
I've been mentoring students at the University for a number of years now and I find the whole process extremely rewarding.
What I like most about it is the fact that I can impart my knowledge and also help shape someone's potential career path. We spend a lot of time in the early days establishing trust and rapport and trying to find out exactly what it is that the mentee would like to achieve in terms of their career. We then go on to set specific tasks and a detailed plan and then we spend the remaining meetings trying to fill in the gaps and work out what we need to do to achieve the specific objectives. This could be from enhancing a CV or for me introducing the mentee to people that I know within the sector who could provide their own advice and knowledge on what it takes to succeed.
Overall, our relationship is very much based on trust and it's also based on me providing the mentee with the opportunity to help make their own decisions and I think that's critical. This isn't about me telling a mentee what to do. It's about me enabling a mentee to make the decisions that enable them to succeed in their chosen career.
Top Tip for Industry - Careers Network Mentoring Scheme
There are probably three main areas where I can add value to a mentee. The first is in giving them a fantastic understanding of the management consulting industry and also some of the associated careers such as Investment Banking or Accounting.
The second is in the development of a CV that is specifically tailored to the requirements of the management consulting sector. It's very important to understand what employers are looking for but also how to differentiate yourself from all the other applicants.
The final gift I can give you, is in actually giving you the confidence to succeed in the management consulting sphere.