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.