I have to admit that I was quite nervous before my first meeting with my mentor. Alan is a leader in the pharmaceutical industry and with a wealth of experience in an area which I am incredibly interested in. He is the mentor I wanted right from the start when applying so I felt really lucky to have got him. However, what if I didn’t make a good first impression? What if things got awkward and I couldn’t express what I wanted out of the mentoring programme well? What if he thought I was too out of my depth?
I had been in contact with Alan over email and also on the phone before I met him, and not surprisingly he was as nice and approachable in person. There was no need to worry at all. We met over coffee at the medical school and just got to know each other. He told me stories about his life and career, some which were indeed quite incredible I have to say. He asked me questions about university, my family and career goals, and of course what I wanted out of the programme.
I have to admit that some of my goals had changed from what they initially were when first applying; so when asked this question I felt somewhat little lost and unpolished in my answer. We discussed how we wanted to keep in contact over the next few months, and things we could arrange to keep in with what I wanted to achieve at the end of the year.
He said that his schedule was quite busy up to the Christmas period so we have decided to meet from January onwards and keep in contact in the meantime. This will include trips down to his offices in London, meeting some of his clients and many more things.
I am really looking forward to working with Alan for the forthcoming year. I hope we will achieve some great things together.
Haweya Abdikadir, Final year Medical Student