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​A Mentee's View: Growing Up from the Graduate Role

Caroline Gillard
A Mentee's View: Growing Up from the Graduate Role 

In a WILD London interview, we spoke to a past mentee of our mentoring program to explore one woman's experience in how she moved on from the firm she started as a graduate to new role with the help of her mentor.
Q. Why did you decide to join the WILD mentoring programme as a mentee? Why did you decide to go with WILD rather than an internal mentor, if that was available? Are you still a mentee with your mentor?
A. I had been a member of WILD for a number of years prior to becoming a mentee.  I was in a role that was no longer growing – I have a technical background but had moved to a new business/sales role, and had had a child in the previous year.  I wanted to speak to someone who had been in the industry in a number of positions to allow me to explore the opportunities/types of roles that would suit my skills and background. I was at a relatively small firm with no internal mentorship skills, but additionally, with my intentions of leaving the company, I wouldn’t have been able to fully explore all opportunities available. I’m no longer a mentee as such, however, I believe that you do form a long term relationship with your mentor.  
Q. Tell us about your journey. How did you get to meeting up with your mentor and fostering your relationship?
A. WILD ran a speed mentor/mentee meet where we met each of the mentors to see which person fit best.  We picked three mentors, and wrote down our goals for the following year – this gave us a chance to start off the year with a clear idea of what we want from it.
Our first meeting was over lunch – we already knew each other through WILD. Had a chat about what my goals were, what I enjoyed/didn’t enjoy about the current role as well as running through the different roles she had.  She also made a point that once you get to a certain level in the industry, you should have the confidence to ask for what you need personally – be it coming in a little later to do pick ups/working from home etc, knowing that you will still be fulfilling the role through working outside of standard hours.  If your new employers see the benefit you will bring to the team, they are likely to provide the flexibility.
What worked was having goals and accountability for actions to be taken. Life can get in the way if you don’t have that accountability.
Q. What was your goal to accomplish with the help of your mentor?
A. I was looking to move out of a role I’d been in since graduating – so ultimately, my goal was to move jobs.  As I’d been at the same firm for such a long time, my pay had also stagnated, so a pay rise was imperative!  Further, I wanted to explore alternative roles that would suit me (I’m a technologist by nature, found myself in sales – was I able to use the skills I have better elsewhere for more satisfaction/money?)
Q. Why was this goal important to you? How has achieving it helped your life generally? Tell us about the benefits.
A. I needed to move out of a role that had kept me somewhat cocooned – moving to the role I now have – still sales, but within different asset classes/products – has allowed me to grow everything! My knowledge of new assets/products, my network, and most importantly, myself through working with new people, new strategies etc, and I really feel like I’m able to make a difference to my team with the knowledge I’m bringing from the previous roles I’ve had.
Q. Where are you now and how has your life changed since the first contact with your mentor? Would you continue the mentoring programme or consider becoming a mentor next?
A. I am a Sales Director at a FinTech firm, so by title, I’m doing the same thing! But the world is so different in terms of the prospects, territories and my colleagues and boss that I’m enjoying coming to work where I was previously dragging my feet.    I’m no longer on the mentoring program, I would like to become a mentor at some point – It certainly helped me – I would love to be able to help someone else in the same way going forward.