With the 2017/18 Mentor scheme coming to an end and the AYP Ball looming, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the past four months that I have been involved. I originally got involved with AYP because I was in a rut with my career and I wasn’t happy in my job. I felt like everyone around me had their life sussed out and I had no idea what direction to go in and needed some support and guidance.
While in the process of being matched with a mentor I fortunately accepted a new job at Befriend a Child as a Fundraising Manager. I was really excited by the prospect of a new job and taking on a new career and one that I knew would be rewarding with all the wonderful work they do for local disadvantaged children.
I first met Stacy Edghill 5 days in to my new role at Befriend a Child. From our first meeting I knew I had been matched with the correct mentor. Stacy has a similar career background to the one I am pursuing as she is a Event Sales Manager at DC Thomson and she has to network and gain sponsorship from companies which is a big part of my work.
I didn’t expect to gain as much as I have from my time with Stacy. If anyone knows Stacy, you know that she is a very busy woman and does so much out with her job. However, this never stopped her from providing me with her wealth of knowledge and supporting me with any questions I had. She always made time for me, even if it was just a quick email to answer a question I had.
The relationship is very focused on what I want to get out of it. Stacy puts me at the centre and she wants to help me grow as an individual and in my career.
I want to thank Stacy for everything she has done for me and I have learnt so much from her and can’t wait to see what else I can learn. I would encourage anyone to get involved with the AYP Mentor Scheme because it is invaluable to have someone you can go to. I want to stress that I have a fantastic team around me at Befriend a Child and a very supportive one at that but it is great having an outside perspective and someone who just wants the best for me.
My experience with the AYP Mentor Scheme 2017/2018 has been a great eye-opener to a professional career. With Rod Hutchison as my mentor, the opportunity has allowed me to gain a first-hand insight into the legal sector. Throughout the meetings, Rod has been very helpful and has provided me with valuable advice for gaining a placement, traineeship and career routes as a solicitor.
Since the last blog, we have covered topics such as: improving my CV, creating a model cover letter for summer placements, general advice about the roles of a trainee, career options and the work duties of a corporate solicitor. The Scheme has allowed me to create a cover letter and CV which I will send out next week to potential placement firms. Rod has also given me advice for interviews and has continuously encouraged me to be myself. Throughout the Mentor Scheme, Rod has been supportive and motivating. The feedback Rod has provided me with at the meetings were always positive and encouraging to continue with the path I am on, allowing me to build up my CV to support a traineeship. I would like to thank Rod for his encouragement, advice and the time he has made.
I was encouraged by Rod and Stacy Edghill, who is also a mentor for the scheme, to attend Offshore Europe. At the event, Stacy was extremely helpful and took me around to network with different companies, which allowed me to ask questions relevant to a placement and traineeship. This opportunity allowed me to make connections over LinkedIn and provided email addresses so that I could send enquiries about placements.
The AYP scheme has allowed me to gain an insight into a legal career and I would recommend the Mentor Scheme for any student or professional. I will be attending the AYP Ball in March 2018 and I am looking forward to hearing other people’s experience with the AYP scheme.
I’ve been working with Stacy for a number of months now. She has a very hectic schedule but always makes herself available to meet. Stacy takes the time to understand my challenges and has given me a variety of tools and practical tasks to help me focus on making improvements. Stacy has a very hands on approach and supports in any way she can – she has gone out of her way to facilitate introductions to others and has identified and attended a number of industry networking events with me.
I entered the programme with a couple of specific areas where I felt I most needed development but Stacy has provided mentoring and guidance on a whole host of issues. Her experiences across different roles in different sectors has been great for me to tap into. Stacy has taken a real interest in my role and career and is an excellent sounding board.
Stacy’s positivity helps me focus on what I can do. Being on the mentor programme has given me the confidence to tackle challenges I previously put in the ‘too hard’ box.
I continue to see the benefits of mentoring support and it’s something I’d actively encourage others to get involved with. I’m more than happy to discuss my experiences of being on the mentoring scheme with this new to the programme or considering applying.
My name is David Garcia, I am 35 and originally from Spain and have been living in Aberdeen more over 4 years. I had heard about AYP but never thought it could be something for me, I thought it would be a scheme for recent graduates. However last year I found myself in the middle of a professional and personal crisis. I didn’t know if I was going in the right direction and what I could do to improve the situation. Therefore, I decided to find out more about AYP and give it a try.
It was surprising that is a pro-bono scheme where experienced people are keen to mentor others. Anyway, I had nothing to lose I thought.
Barry Mole was appointed my mentor and since the very beginning he has been a great support. He has made me realise how important it is to be in control of the situation, how to create the right environment in your work place and what to do to enjoy your job. He always tells me, “you have to be enjoy what you do”. Besides, as a foreigner you are sometimes unsure about how to do certain things. I have raised my concerns about it to Barry and he has helped clarify some things but also let me know when I am wrong.
To be honest with you, the first time I spoke with Barry I was a bit down. My wife was pregnant (she still is and due in a few weeks so I guess Aberdeen is going to be a part of me all my life regardless of what may come in the future), I was not happy with myself and complaining about many things. However, Barry told me you can change that, now it is your choice. A few weeks later, I decided to change my life, I left my job to revaluate things and take control of my life. Barry also told me something more important, don’t complain about the past, focus your efforts on the future and how to make it yours. It works!!
I still have to work on a lot of things, but I know I am in the right direction and have a great guide to help me during this professional but also personal development process. I hope I could give back some of this support to others in the future. I am extremely grateful to Barry and everyone involved in AYP.
I will be attending AYP Ball 2018 on Friday 2nd March to meet up with everyone who would like to have a good time and share experiences. See you there!
Now that I’m nearing towards the end of my Mentor Scheme 2017/18 I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Ross again for the time he’s taken to provide me with valuable career guidance and support. Ross and I have covered numerous topics including recruitment strategies, in-house recruitment, contract recruitment, presentation skills and more, each topic we’ve covered has proved to be hugely beneficial to me and I was able to learn from his own career experiences.
For the past 12 months I had also been on a development plan with my employer TEAM Energy Resources and I believe that the guidance I’ve received from Ross along with continued support working on my confidence had indeed contributed in my recent promotion as ‘Senior Recruitment Partner’ supporting Acteon’s operating companies.
I’m looking forward to attending this year’s AYP Ball again in March, meeting with other Mentees and Mentors from the AYP scheme and hearing how their own personal development plans have been a success for them.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have Ross as my mentor this year I’d encourage any professional who’s looking for career guidance to consider the AYP Mentor Scheme.
Since our initial meeting Duncan’s advice has helped transform my business from an ‘at home start up’ to a much more professional business entity. He’s dedicated time to helping me better formulate my business plan, and his knowledge of Aberdeen and the Social Enterprise industry has been invaluable.
Many things which were unknowns to me are now clear, and I feel I have a better hand on both business growth and direction, and who to turn to as new challenges arise.
It’s been a great opportunity and I’ve very grateful.
Baby Carrying Consultant.
I initially came across AYP Mentoring Scheme when I attended the March 2017 AYP Ball at Pittodrie Stadium. I was greatly encouraged by the high turnout of young professionals in Aberdeen and the support that the AYP Scheme offers. My first contact was with one of the mentors and a family friend, Stacy Edghill who enlightened me on the AYP Scheme and its opportunities.
Currently to date, I am still at the early stage of my career story and will be graduating with a BA in Law and Management. As of September 2017, I will be continuing my studies in my second year of the LLB (Hons) at Robert Gordon University. I am a very passionate and a hardworking student, who recognises any opportunity for development.
The AYP scheme offers a great opportunity for personal development and I personally feel that the support and advice from successful professionals will be extremely beneficial in my further progression through higher education. Therefore, the AYP mentoring seemed an extremely supportive scheme which I felt would be of great benefit to both parties involved.
I contacted Steve White about the mentor scheme who was extremely helpful and supportive in joining the AYP Mentoring Scheme. Steve advised me on how to apply and I began the journey in applying for Rod Hutchison to be my Mentor. Rod is a partner at Ledingham Chalmers and is an ideal choice as he is a significant figure in the legal profession in Aberdeen. As Rod’s mentee, I feel we both share an enthusiastic approach to the scheme and I felt his advice and support would be highly valuable.
I have currently met with Rod for the first coffee in which I was very nervous. Straight away I felt relaxed speaking to Rod as he shared stories of his career path and general conversations getting to know each other and what I would like to establish from the AYP Mentoring Scheme. The first meeting was a great success by expressing my career ambition and telling Rod of my university experience to date. As a student, I feel being able to ask questions and asking for advice is extremely beneficial. Rod has recently encouraged me to attend Offshore Europe and will hopefully get an opportunity to catch up at the event. Stacy Edghill who is also a mentor for the scheme has provided her support and we have arranged to meet at the Offshore Europe event for networking.
I would like to thank Rod and the AYP Mentor Scheme so far for providing me support and encouragement - every student needs it!
I first heard about the AYP Mentor Scheme when I was searching online for business support in Aberdeen.
I set up my business whilst on Maternity Leave, and having never ran one before I was hoping for some advice. Given that my business is a little niche, and that it provides a community service, I was struggling to find the support I was requiring, and when I saw Duncan Skinner’s bio, I was delighted as I knew he would be able to be a great help because of his experience with not just businesses but with social enterprises too.
Our first meeting confirmed my hopes that he would understand the questions I had and was able to guide me through the options available to me. I’m now in a position where I have a strategy in place for the future, and Duncan has kindly agreed to help look over my business plan and answer any questions as I move forward.
We’re just at the start of the process, but I can already see the huge benefits the scheme is going to have not only on my business, but in term impacting the City as we are able to move towards offering more in our local communities.
Thank you for the opportunity.
I initially found out about the AYP Mentoring Scheme when I read a blog on LinkedIn from one of the mentees from the 2016 programme. Laura’s account of her professional relationship with her mentor sounded exactly like what I was looking for. The fact that the programme was closed to applicants didn’t stop me from contacting Steve White and registering my interest. I hit it off immediately with Steve and we both felt confident that the AYP Mentoring Scheme would be of benefit to me both personally and professionally.
The last three years have been a bit of a whirlwind career wise; having transitioned from junior doctor to charity volunteer to charity manager. I have great passion and enthusiasm for my current role and wanted to be the best possible manager for this very worthwhile charity. This is my first managerial role and I felt that I would benefit from a mentor to help steer me in the right direction. I have actively sought out mentors both formally and informally, but still felt like I hadn’t found what I needed to be truly successful and happy in my role.
I felt like I had hit the jackpot when Steve called to tell me that he had ‘matched’ me with Colette Backwell, CEO of CLAN. My mum has worked with CLAN as a therapist for many years so it is a charity very close to my heart and Colette’s background across the public, private and third sector really impressed me. I was apprehensive before our initial meeting as I have had bad experiences with managers in the past. I think this meeting lasted nearly 2 hours, where we shared our relative career histories and the highs and lows we have both experienced. I found Colette very easy to talk to, and appreciated her honesty and openness in describing her own experiences. I have always been a very honest person, at times this has been to my detriment, but found it refreshing to be able to speak to someone without needing to be careful about what I said.
I have met Colette a number of times since our first meeting and the most valuable thing she has taught me is to have confidence in myself and the importance of personal resilience. For the first time in my professional career, I feel like I have someone who understands me as an individual and as a manager. As busy as Colette is, she always finds the time to talk if I need to, whether face to face or on the phone. She has been invaluable recently when I had a work issue which was really stressing me out. She provided practical advice on how to tackle it; using facts not emotions to get my point across.
I have always struggled to ask for help, but feel now that if I need advice in future, I will have the courage to ask for it as I realise that it is in fact the strong thing to do. I feel very lucky to have Colette as a mentor and look forward to working with her in future.
I couldn’t write this blog without mentioning Steve, who in my head is always wearing a reindeer shirt, which is what he wore in our first meeting in December last year! I feel like I have two mentors as Steve has given me some really sound advice and is another person I know is just on the other end of the phone if I need a chat. Thank you to everyone involved in the AYP Mentoring Scheme, it has made such a difference to my life and I hope one day that I might even be able to repay them by becoming a mentor!
I have been aware of AYP for a number of years. It captured my intrigue and interest but I continued to watch from a far without taking the plunge and getting actively involved.
During my early career, I have been fortunate to benefit from a number of formal and informal mentor and coaching relationships. During my time with Strategic Resources and Proserv, mentors have helped me understand my strengths and, more importantly, recognise my ‘opportunities for development’…I used to call these weaknesses! I recognise how their counsel and advice has positively affected my development and remain grateful for this support.
The AYP mentor scheme was therefore naturally attractive because of the positive mentoring experiences I’ve had to date. What particularly excited me, however, was the idea of a completely new viewpoint from someone who did not know me or the company I work for – an objective, agnostic, fresh standpoint.
The other main motivation for applying to the programme was because I had recently undertaken a management role, responsible for a small team. In order to support and develop my team in the best way possible, I wanted to ensure I was a stronger best version of myself – which meant not just realising my shortcomings but doing something about them!
Upon applying to the programme, I was blown away by the standard of mentors AYP had been able to attract and knew I would benefit from working alongside any of them. Before reading Stacy Edghill’s bio, her name was already familiar to me. I had seen Stacy’s presence on social media, recognised her name from delegate lists at networking events and seen her name in the media. One of the reasons I identified Stacy as the mentor I most wanted to work with was because many of her strengths are areas which I find challenging. The skills, however, are key to my role and critical to my career development.
Stacy has taken time out of her hectic schedule to learn about me and what I am hoping to get from the programme. We have already started working towards achieving these goals. I am just at the beginning my journey on the on the mentor scheme with Stacy but I already see the benefits it is and will continue to yield.
I am delighted I finally pushed myself to get involved with the programme and look forward to continuing to benefit from Stacy’s support and guidance.