The value of having a mentor
14 September 2018
As Leeds Trinity University launches its mentoring programme for the next academic year, Brett Arnall, Alumni Relations Officer, speaks to alumna Lauren Robinson who was mentored by businessman and Leeds Trinity Honorary Fellow Tim Hodgson during her final year at university.
How did your mentoring opportunity come about and what were your initial hopes?
During my third year we were assigned mentors, and my family had always encouraged networking and making the most of every opportunity. For an ambitious undergraduate it was really inspiring to hear about Tim's experience and how he developed his own career post-university.
I found it really beneficial to learn from someone who had been there and done it. Tim encouraged me to ask questions about myself and my career that perhaps a friend or family member wouldn't. Leaving university and entering the real world can be really daunting so listening to how someone has gone on to have a successful career is really inspiring.
How has the process helped you in your career development and personal growth?
Tim recommended me for work experience with a Quantity Surveyor, which posed opportunities in a new industry I wouldn't have previously had. Since leaving university, I have contacted Tim to gain a fresh perspective on career challenges; you can't put a price on the advice someone with experience can give. But most of all, the mentoring scheme helped my professional confidence.
What advice would you give any current students interested in mentoring schemes?
Jump at the chance! The value and advice mentors can provide is like gold and this is not an opportunity that will come about often or as easy. You cannot just learn from textbooks, you need to learn from experiences and it takes time to experience these things, so learn from someone else. As the saying goes, it's not about what you know, it's about who you know, and mentors can not only provide a catalogue of knowledge, but they can also open doors.
How does your mentor still help you?
I still contact Tim every now and again. He is always keen to help in any way he can!
Interested in finding out more? Many alumni community members and business partners who have previously expressed an interest in mentoring have signed up to the scheme. If you are interested in finding out more about the mentoring opportunities at Leeds Trinity please visit the webpage here.