One of the best things about Alumni mentorship is that there is always a chance that your mentor will still be in and around Birmingham which happened to be the case with my mentor, Sam Decombel. Luckily, this made it very easy for us to schedule a meeting over email at the Mailbox just before she headed to an awards dinner nearby.
My overarching motivation for applying to the mentorship programme was the opportunity to talk with and learn from the experiences of someone who has already successfully walked the path I am looking to in the future. Having our first meeting in a nearby coffee shop was the perfect setting to chat casually about Sam’s experiences with MuscleGenes and her journey up until that point. We must have talked for around an hour and a half with no real conversational structure other than going off on various tangents of topics that we both found interesting. Being able to ask about pricing decisions, why one decision was made over another and what makes a good employee is something that seldom comes around often and I felt incredibly lucky to be able to have such an extended conversation and summary of decisions that are likely to have taken a very experienced Senior Management Team a great deal of time choosing.
I was able to talk about some of goals and plans for the future and understand how they related to her experience of business. She offered some tips but most importantly, asked questions of why I thought what I did and why I wanted to pursue certain careers which I think is probably one of the most underrated benefits of the mentorship programme. Having that person who can remind you of what you really want and really drill down into your motivations is the perfect grounding device – especially during final year when you can find yourself being pulled in various directions between academic work and graduate schemes.
Since having our meeting, Sam very kindly had a look through my CV and emailed across some fantastic notes and ideas on how to improve it as well as inviting me down to the MuscleGene HQ.
Overall, I think our first meeting was a great platform to build from and I’m sure I will be learning even more from Sam in the future.
4th Year Business Management Student