I first came across AYP through a family friend. I didn’t fully understand the mentor process, I just knew I wanted a helping hand in career progression and in life. What does the word mentor mean? The dictionary describes it as “A wise and trusted councillor or teacher“ however this explanation does not do it justice. A mentor is someone who overseas your goals and ambitions and helps you reach every single one, someone who can guide and provide you with experienced intellect. Someone who can give you that kick in the back side when needed.
I remember reading Finlay Johnston’s blog and was interested in meeting him. I recently began a role within Business Development which of course can have its difficulty’s especially in the current climate.. So with Finlay being in Business Development and marketing I felt I would benefit most from someone who has experienced the hurdles I have faced. Our first conversation was about telephone and door to door sales, Finlay told me about his first “selling” role within retail banking and how he progressed into commercial banking. That sealed the deal for me.
Finlay has taught me a lot about how to build relationships, how to work smart, how to be proactive with each lead or potential client. His knowledge is truly priceless. Over the next few weeks I’m attending a networking event with Finlay, I am really looking forward to increasing my profile and meeting new people to build relationships with. I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all his time so far and helping me progress. Finlay is a great guy and I can’t wait to continue this journey with him. I hope every mentee is having a fantastic time growing with their mentor. Exciting times ahead!
Looking to excel my career and broaden my network, I started attending Aberdeen Young Professional events in 2015. I enjoyed the discussions and presentations offered during the events but I was unsure of the networking aspects surrounding them (I was quite cynical of their benefits and success). Having enjoyed previous events, I decided to attend the 2016 AYP Meet the Mentors event where I met and spoke with a range of the mentors (and others) throughout the night.
I was lucky enough to be chosen by Neil Smyth, construction director for Morrison construction, as I am looking to create a similar career path to what Neil has created for himself. I hope to draw on his experience and knowledge from within the industry to begin better shaping my career. Similarly to Neil, I am willing to learn and progress by covering any field that is required, often learning by the mistakes you make along the way.
Following the selection/pairing process our interactions have been limited due to an array of personal and work commitments we have been unable to truly begin the mentoring process. Committing to the AYP mentor scheme in May, I didn’t expect to find difficulties to commit to an hour or so every fortnight/month to meet over a coffee. While we have not been able to meet my mentor, I have been critically analysing my progress on weekly and monthly basis. While I discuss these to a certain degree with my manager, I am looking forward to extending these discussions with my mentor.
We have been able to set a date in the calendar in the coming weeks and I am looking forward to meeting him. In preparation for meeting my mentor I have been setting goals and expectations for the scheme to agree a programme to set some benchmarks against. I am sure when we meet these will be refined to a mutual agreement to map a progression plan for the remaining 9 months or so (hopefully our relationship can extend beyond the limits of the AYP mentor scheme).
I first heard about the AYP Mentor Scheme through a friend and after spending some time researching it and reading about the mentors,
I was really interested in working with Neil Smyth. I was drawn to working with Neil due to his vast experience in the Construction industry over many years. Currently just starting my 5th year of my Architecture degree and just having finished a year of placement at an architectural firm in Edinburgh,
I knew that having an outside source with more practical experience would be of great help this year. Having been based in Edinburgh until a few weeks ago, this made scheduling meetings with Neil a little bit difficult, however I haven’t seen this as a setback in our progress as we have still been in touch and had a face to face meeting where we got to know each other and set out what we would like to achieve this year.
Neil and I have plans to meet up together shortly with his other mentee too. I first envisioned my time with Neil being more focussed construction and architecture but after the first meeting, I quickly realised he will also be mentoring me in management and the importance of good communication skills within the industry.
Neil has already given me some invaluable advice, has arranged with me to visit some sites with a QS from Morrison Construction and has pushed me to work outside of my comfort zone.