Final year student Ruth is taking part in our pilot mentoring programme. She writes about the experience of meeting her graduate mentor for the first time:
"I’ve only ever been on one blind date. Nervously waiting for a friend of a friend who I had been set up with, my nerves were mounting. What if I say the wrong thing? What if I’m not what they were expecting? This may be a strange comparison to make, but waiting to meet my mentor in the reception of the Hilton at Paddington station, I felt a sense of anticipation once more. Nevertheless, I was much more relieved to see my mentor Debbie wave to me across the hall than I was to meet my 6ft something date (I am 5’1” just).
"When I signed up to the mentoring programme, I was in quite a lost state to be frank. Drawing towards the end of the first term of my final year, the expectation to know what I wanted to do post-graduation had been growing. Up until now I have only known what I don’t want to do, in terms of profession. I needed clarity, a fresh take on things. Fortunately, in our first meeting Debbie lifted the fog.
"Once she knew a bit about me, I inquired as to how she thought I should go about securing a graduate job. She paused and answered with the word choice. It’s much better to have it, she explained. Her next piece of advice also put me at ease. Mistakes, make them. Lastly she described how I should focus on the type of work I would like to do, instead of pigeonholing professions.
"Since our meeting I have been much less anxious about the fact that I don’t quite know where I’m heading, as I am now taking steps in the right direction to find out. It was so uplifting to hear Debbie’s point of view, as she has accumulated so much experience over her career. I am really grateful she has given up her time to mentor me, now I just need to fit in my homework before our next meeting (although it has already gone better than my blind date did)."
Ruth Baughan (Management 2014)