The mentoring learning process (Blog 2)

After an incredibly hectic second semester I finally have some time to sit back and reflect on the most recent developments in my Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme (ALMP) experience…
As I write this I am yet to receive a job offer for next year, having been rejected from numerous different graduate schemes across a range of different industries/sectors. Interestingly though, when I look back over the different applications and interviews that I gave, I can find flaws in every single one of them. This isn’t because I hashed them out without due care; or because I am an overly self-exigent individual. But rather because my mentor, Andrew Garner, has given me an entirely different perspective with regards to career management and entry-level recruitment. I genuinely can’t stress just how refreshing it is to get some career advice that is different to the generic stuff you find online.

Having had a illustrious career in executive search, Andrew understands exactly what it takes for candidates to differentiate themselves, all the way down to the intricate little details.

‘So if Andrew has given you such good advice, how haven’t you got a job yet?’ I hear you ask. Well I think the answer is fairly simple – knowledge can’t simply be transferred from one person to another. After all if you’re looking for a mentor to give you all the answers or ‘the secret to success’ then the ALMP will probably disappoint you. After all learning is a process, and thanks to Andrew I have been able to gradually improve as a candidate by analysing my performance in interviews and critiquing my applications with complete scrutiny.
Now whilst the mentors probably can’t give you any ‘secrets to success’; what they can give you is their supreme network of contacts. With Andrew for example, once I decided that I would like to explore the idea of working within marketing, he put me in contact with the co-founder of one of the UK’s leading digital marketing agencies. Thankfully, the digital marketing guru to which I was introduced was incredibly unpretentious and agreed to take some time out of his day to meet me and discuss careers within the sector. It was an unbelievable experience, going down to London and getting to rub shoulders with this hugely successful business leader; but more importantly I was able to get an unprecedented impression of what life would be like working within an agency. Whether the meeting will lead to something more in the way of career opportunities is perhaps too early to say, however it just goes to show what kind of doors these mentors can open.

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