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Unlocking Potential: The Transformative Power of Mentoring

Updated: Jun 11

The Power of Effective Mentoring: A Transformative Experience


Mentoring can be a game-changer, especially for students navigating the transition from academia to the professional world. It can be a transformative experience, providing guidance, support, and opportunities that can significantly shape one's professional and personal development. Harriet's journey through a university mentoring scheme, under the guidance of ELEVATE Founder and CEO Trevor Gomes (BEM, BCAe), illustrates the profound impact and power of mentoring. For Harriet mentoring was a powerful relationship that went beyond just guidance; but a life changing experience that can shaped and enriched her career and life.


The Mentoring Experience: Structure and Process

In her second year at university, Harriet a Business Management Student, recognised the need for additional support to navigate her career path. She applied for a one-on-one mentoring scheme, detailing her goals and expectations in an application form. This thoughtful process matched her with Trevor Gomes, whose extensive experience and leadership at ELEVATE made him an ideal mentor. The scheme included several touch-base meetings, each tailored to Harriet's specific objectives. These sessions focused on building foundational skills essential for securing a career, such as job interview techniques, CV crafting, and general job placement strategies. Trevor also leveraged his professional network, offering Harriet valuable work experience through exposure to the world of HR which Harriet highlighted as an interesting career path. Harriet stated that the work experience was “a core reason for her wanting to purse a career in HR as it gave her an eye-opener to the world of work and HR specifically”.


Session Details: Format and Duration

The mentoring sessions were online, offering Harriet the flexibility to balance her academic commitments and her mentor Trevor the flexibility around his work & personal commitments. The mentoring, which was meant to span an entire academic year, with regular meetings that kept her motivated and on track, ended up being longer-term with Trevor willingly providing his support as Harriet went into an industry placement in the NHS and during her third year at university, supporting Harriet with securing a graduate job at leading professional service firm PWC. Trevor mentions “Harriet has been an exceptional mentee, who has made the most out of my mentorship as evident from her development, so it’s a pleasure to continue my support longer than the intended duration”.

 

Key Takeaways: Skills and Confidence

The most enjoyable and valuable aspect of the mentoring experience for Harriet was the comprehensive skill-building it provided. Through her mentor's guidance, she was able to enhance her CV and build a strong LinkedIn profile which in turn played a role in getting her interviews at some of the UK's biggest companies. This process not only improved her job prospects but also significantly boosted her confidence and resilience in job searching. The targeted advice and consistent support she received were instrumental in her personal and professional growth. Harriet felt that Trevor was able to “keep her motivated and in the right mindset as she balanced her academic studies and looked to secure herself a role after graduating”. Harriet also stated that she lacked confidence and had un-certainty about her future due to how difficult the labor market is and the fear of rejection, but Trevor helped her create a plan of action built on practical steps and actions that built her confidence along the journey.


During her industry placement, Harriet found immense value in being able to turn to her mentor Trevor, for ongoing support and guidance. Trevor's availability and willingness to discuss her progress provided Harriet with a crucial sounding board for her experiences. She frequently sought his advice on the challenges she encountered and the skills she wanted to develop further. Whether it was refining her approach to a specific task or navigating workplace dynamics, "Trevor's insights were invaluable". This continuous mentorship not only helped Harriet excel during her placement but also reinforced her confidence and competence in a real-world professional setting.

 

Mentor's Role: Support and Approachability

Harriet's mentor played a crucial role in her development. Harriet said, “Trevor was approachable, reassuring, and his understanding nature created a supportive environment where I felt comfortable asking questions and exploring my opportunities for my development”.  Trevor’s consistent support ensured Harriet always had someone to turn to for advice and encouragement, fostering a positive and growth-oriented relationship. Harriet mentions Trevor was core to helping her develop self-belief and both a growth and winning mind-set.


Reflection and Satisfaction: Achieving Goals

Reflecting on her experience, Harriet realised she had achieved everything she hoped for from the mentoring scheme. From developing her confidence, to building her brand, to growing her network and gaining experience, Harriet achieved her goals and much more. The mentoring not only met but exceeded her expectations, leaving her with no suggestions for improvement. This satisfaction underscores the effectiveness and thoroughness of the mentoring process she experienced.


Inspired to Give Back: Becoming a Mentor

Harriet's positive experience as a mentee inspired her to become a mentor herself. Harriet has recently joined ELEVATE; the mentoring programme founded by her mentor Trevor Gomes. ELEVATE Managing Director Lewis has stated “Harriets impact since joining ELEVATE earlier this year has been outstanding. As someone who’s taken part in mentoring and just entered the world of work, her experience and knowledge is valuable to both our team and our mentees”. Her journey through the mentoring scheme highlighted the significant gap in support for developing foundational job-searching skills at the university level. By becoming a mentor, Harriet aimed to fill this gap and make a meaningful impact on students in similar situations. Her firsthand experience of struggling with these skills allowed her to relate to her mentees, providing them with valuable advice and building their resilience.


Harriet supporting delivery of a workshop on Personal Branding


Additionally, Harriet's desire to give back stemmed from the profound help she received from her mentor. She wanted to pay it forward by helping others develop their skills, thereby enhancing her own capabilities and contributing to her self-development and career progression.


Final Thoughts: A Worthwhile Endeavor

In her concluding remarks, Harriet enthusiastically encouraged others to participate in mentoring programs, emphasizing that it was “well worth the effort” and anyone thinking about it “just go for it, it’s worth it!”. Her parents also recognised the positive impact of the mentoring scheme, noting that she wouldn't be where she is today without it. This testimonial underscores the transformative power of mentoring, showcasing its ability to shape careers and lives positively.


Harriet's experience highlights that mentoring is not just about imparting knowledge; it's about building confidence, resilience, and a sense of community. Her journey is a testament to the far-reaching benefits of mentorship, inspiring others to seek and provide guidance in their professional journeys.

 

 

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