Flying Start (Blog 1)

My ALMP experience has begun with a flying start. I got an email from Barry Cockcroft very soon after the scheme commenced. It was clear that Barry was an enthusiastic mentor who was genuinely keen to assist. All participating mentees had a briefing session organised by Careers Network on how to get the most out of a mentoring relationship. Before this session was even scheduled, Barry and I had already had our first meeting!

We spoke at a New Street station coffee shop for over an hour. I felt privileged at this meeting as Barry had prepared a brief agenda and advice sheet on his train journey which I took away with me. It included recommended reading material and people I should get in contact with. I was really lucky to meet face to face as it was a great way to make our introductions. The atmosphere was professional yet relaxed so it was an opportunity for me to explain my past and future intentions as well as finding out some of Barry’s career highlights which aren’t so well known.

The scheme has already opened up windows of opportunities for me. Since beginning my course I have attempted to become actively involved in my field. This includes attending many events.

Coincidentally in November we attended the same event – the new dental hospital dedication ceremony.

Without the scheme, we wouldn’t have known about each other’s presence. With the scheme, I not only met with Barry but I was even introduced to other high profile colleagues he is affiliated with. Such networking is a very valuble tool in any field. Following this event, I will continue to have contact with my mentor but it may also lead to additional meetings with other individuals.

So far, the ALMP has definitely exceeded my expectations. I eagerly await what follows!

Andrew Kalli

4th Year, Dentistry

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