I met my Mentor, Tim Smart, for the first time in early November at one of the nicest Starbuck’s I have ever been in (Tavistock Square, London, for any die-hard fans out there!).
Although a tad nervous at first, we soon found music to be a common interest and even swapped some recommendations! From the outset I was surprised just how easy to contact and enthusiastic Tim was, given his very busy job, and by our first meeting had already emailed across several articles he thought might interest me, knowing that I would like to go into paediatrics. We discussed the spectrum of research within medicine, from those who spend the vast majority of their time in the lab, to those who see patients every day of the week. As someone considering an element of research in their career, I was interested to learn about the variability on offer, and will consider these different options for the future. Within this, Tim mentioned a researcher at his own hospital, King’s College, who was involved in some ground breaking treatments for liver disease in children. I have kindly been put into contact with the professor and hope to find out a little more about his research.
I have also been extremely fortunate to have been able to attend the University’s annual alumni event in The House of Lords – I would fully recommend anyone to attend next year if you have never been before! The event is great for meeting people at the top of their careers (including a couple of other mentors on the scheme this year), learning about the University’s achievements for the year, not to mention having a snoop around the House of Lord and Commons!
I am extremely lucky that I am able to phone/email Tim for help and guidance, and already have ideas to discuss for our next contact. The one key piece of advice I was given at our first meeting that I can pass on was to relax and chill out, and enjoy being young!