Having a mentor through the Aberdeen Young Professional’s Scheme is proving invaluable. What initially drew me to my now mentor, Murray Kerr – Managing Director SengS, was his enthusiasm, drive and passion for his work. I had read an interview; Press and Journal 2014: How I got where I am today, and knew that I had to speak with him. Although we both work in different industries, I share his outlook on career development and am confident he will be able to provide guidance and fuel my determination to meet my goals.
On the AYP Finalist night unfortunately, due to work commitments Murray was not able to attend. The night was still highly beneficial as I got to speak to many other inspirational finalists and individuals including Heather Sharkey – Commercial Director at EC_OG and Steve White – Subsea Operations Advisor at Apace North Sea, both whom I feel would be at the end of a phone if I ever needed advice.
I still wanted to speak with Murray so we arranged a call and sussed out whether the mentor relationship would be beneficial. Even from one phone call I could tell that Murray and I would get along, he was very open and honest and I could tell he wouldn’t be afraid to give me some home truths if needed. Sometimes, it is good just to have an outside perspective.
During out first face-to-face meeting, at the Return To Scene offices, I was able to show Murray exactly what my job entailed. Giving him demonstrations on the R2S Software and Services that I provide to the Forensic and Law Enforcement industries. Prior to our meeting Murray had provided me with questions so that he could gauge my career aspirations and worries, which we ran through. He was very supportive and honest about everything I told him and we put a plan of action into place for the coming weeks to help me hit those goals. This wasn’t by any means a one sided conversation and it provided me with a real insight into how Murray saw this relationship developing too.
We decided a good place to start would be personal branding and looking at the bigger picture. It was evident that what I had showed Murray during our meeting wasn’t being portrayed online, through outlets such as LinkedIn, so my first goal was to get more information out there so that people had a clearer understanding of what I do. I am now more conscious of my personal brand and aim to build it over time, alongside my goals, to progress my career.
Something I am passionate about is inspiring the next generation into careers such as Science and Technology and although I have done a little of this through guest lecturing at Robert Gordon University I felt that I could do more. I had read about STEMNET ambassadors, volunteers who engage children in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, but had never taken the next step to join them. I spoke to Murray about this and he said, just do it, if you are willing to do something you will find a way to get over any obstacles. This has stuck with me, as one of my personal obstacles is self-doubt through nerves, the only way to get past this is to do more, present more and speak about the things that I know inside out and with each time I will build my confidence. So I have taken my first steps and had my STEM induction, I am now just waiting for the final sign off before I can start volunteering – watch this space!
I have my next meeting with Murray coming up and I am looking forward to developing our relationship, which will hopefully be beneficial for both of us.
Murray Kerr: “In first reading Laura application for this program I was really impressed with Laura’s career path and wanted to know more on exactly what her job entailed, furthermore was impressed with her enthusiasm she had shown in the application for this program.
Over the last few months, I have set certain goals for Laura and on every occasion Laura has excelled in completing these tasks. Her ambition and enthusiasm for work is infectious and over the last few months I have noticed Laura is becoming more focused and confident.
I am looking forward to continuing this journey and see where it takes us.”
Our Mentors and Mentees will be publishing blogs as they progress through the AYP Mentor Scheme