My second meeting with my mentor came at the end of a stressful week in the life of a 3rd year Economics student. However, the session was a great success and I would definitely consider it to be the highlight of my week. Jane is so open, honest and easy to talk to. In this session we discussed my dissertation, networking and achieving a ‘work-life balance’.
We began the session discussing our respective holidays and updates. We then discussed the importance of networking. Jane emphasised just how vital building a professional network is from the onset of your professional career. Like me, Jane was a little sceptical about joining LinkedIn but it has really allowed her to quantify her network and to re-establish connections with people from earlier in her career.
We also spoke about my dissertation which discusses the gender parity on boards in the UK, a situation Jane is all too familiar with as non-executive director on 4 boards! I updated her about my progress. At the moment, progress is slow as I am focusing on collating my econometrics data. This is partly what has been stressing me out this week so I thought it good to ask Jane about her views on work-life balance and keeping organised. Jane had loads of tips for me, including:
- Prioritising your workload by creating a monthly or fortnightly to do list that you can stick up somewhere. By having a to-do list that is less recurrent, the crossing out of tasks feels much more rewarding!
- Try and have at least 2 hours a week where you have some ME time (we both agreed that we like using the gym as a place to have some me time)
We also spoke about preparing for the working world, which I will be entering very soon! Overall, Jane said I shouldn’t worry too much and that most things (public speaking, confidence etc.) come with practice. We also discussed what kind of person is suited to the professional services industry and we realised that it is someone who is a great all-rounder – you need to be technically skilled, have good business acumen and great social skills.
Overall, this meeting was another fantastic and motivating session. I look forward to our next meeting in March.
3rd year Economics Student