My name is Sandeep Saib and I have always wanted to get involved in mentoring at my former University and I finally had the exciting opportunity to do exactly that, thanks to QMentoring.
In February 2017, I was assigned to my mentee, Iqra Bari, who is currently in her first year studying History and we had our first introductory meeting at the end of February, followed by further meetings in March. I prepared an agenda for all of our meetings which was sent to Iqra beforehand to ensure that she has a direction and an understanding of the meeting objectives. It was key for me to ensure that I listen to and meet Iqra’s needs and requirements as much as possible in our mentoring relationship, and focus on areas which she would like to focus on and that it is really a meeting for and about her and what she would like to discuss. On the agenda, we also focused on Iqra’s training needs and goals and aspirations, which are as follows:
- To gain a better insight into her chosen career path and to decide if it’s right for her.
- To discover how to get to where she wants in relation to her career plan.
- To gain further knowledge about her chosen industry in general.
- To learn skills and qualities that are useful to a range of career paths.
- To acquire a life experience which will enrich her.
With our initial meeting, I felt that I really hit it off with Iqra. I had the opportunity to briefly provide her with my background, overview of my experience, career journey and history. I then handed it over to Iqra and had a chance to get to know her in more depth, her work experience and skills, goals and aspirations. She explained her background and mentioned that her passion lies in Law and philanthropic work, and that she would like to get into ‘Family Law’ as it encompasses her two passions into one. She is also passionate about writing novels and is currently focused on one at the moment and is extremely keen to build on this. She also required my assistance with current job applications and interviews, which we worked on together and brainstormed some ideas.
Iqra stated: “From when I had my first meeting with Sandeep, I found her extremely friendly and approachable. This made it so much easier for me to put across my concerns or ask for help. In the first few meetings, we focused on job applications. Sandeep’s advice and experience really helped shape my understanding of how to be the perfect candidate for any position. Receiving one to one guidance was very helpful in providing me with a better perspective on employability skills and careers in general. I can utilise this knowledge to apply for work experience and access opportunities relating to my career path to further my chances. Overall, this experience has been extremely beneficial and I feel a lot more confident about settling into university and entering the job market.”
To date, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a QMUL Mentor and I would definitely recommend it to anyone that is interested in participating in the scheme. It is a great way to give something back to your university, from both a mentor and mentee’s perspective, as well as giving you a real sense of achievement and encouragement. It is a very rewarding experience indeed. It is also a great way to help the next cohort of students settle in and make a smooth transition into university life. We have all been there as first year students. With so many questions and mixed feelings ranging from being excited to slightly nervous, questions about navigating in and around the campus or a question that they may not want to ask a lecturer or member of staff for a fear of looking silly, this is where I am able to assist, pass on my experience to my mentee as much as possible, provide them with additional opportunities that I come across, and welcome them with open arms! You never know the people you will meet and the difference you can make.
Watch this space for the next blog!
Sandeep (Mentor) and Iqra (Mentee)
If you feel inspired to either become a mentor or mentee, please get in touch with Louisa Chastney, QMentoring Coordinator, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 7882 3690.