We caught up with Alan Walsh, Managing Director an ANSA, who provide Data Analytics Solutions to the Energy industry. Alan got in touch with Aberdeen Young Professionals at the end of 2021 as we were finalising our mentor scheme for 2022, and wanted to offer his support & experience to a young professional in the North East.
For the past year, Alan has given his time very gratefully and is a mentor for two very separate mentee’s. Since the turn of the year, he been paired up with one mentee on a one-to-one basis and at the start of May, began working with a start-up business in Aberdeen, with two mentees under his wing.
We asked Alan, why did you choose to become a Mentor through Aberdeen Young Professionals?
“I’ve been doing quite a lot of mentoring in my current position, although it is always focused on people who work with me. I felt it would be good to cast the net wider and share my experiences with those out with my role.
Having received invaluable mentoring and coaching throughout my career, I really wanted to try and give something back.
I also saw it as an opportunity for myself. It would give me the ability to see my own company through “younger” eyes and perhaps pick up advice for ourselves on direction of the company, culture, etc.”
And it might only have been a short time he’s been working with the mentees, but to help feed their ambitions, it’s been a case of getting stuck right in.
“Very quickly I had to get an understanding of each mentee’s jobs and what they do, get to know their personality, what challenges they felt they were facing. Gaining that overall picture, which naturally to begin with, involved asking lots of open questions to get clarity for both of us”
In that time, there’s been some solid progress. With Alan’s support, the mentee’s, have achieved aligning a sense of career direction, supported a business plan proposal, improve time management and strengthened the ability to have difficult conversations, to name a few areas of development, of which there are plenty more.
And for our Mentors like Alan, there’s a benefit too.
“It’s been great for me too. I’ve been able to meet new and interesting people first and foremost, which I might not have without the scheme. I’ve also gained knowledge and tools for mentoring that I can use in my own workspace.
I know that my confidence has grew and I’ve improved my ability to listen, which is a very important skill for us all to keep working on.
Being a mentor has been incredibly rewarding for me. And knowing there is so much talent out there bodes well for the future, especially here in the North East of Scotland.”
Finally, Alan’s encouragement for those wanting to be a mentor & support the development of another person?
“It’s 100% worthwhile and rewarding. You’ll get out of it what you put in, but make sure you leave the mentees to organise things, don’t push too much. Gentle nudges only.
After a time of receiving help, coaching, advice it has been so fulfilling to “give back”.
If you’d like to find out more about becoming a mentor with Aberdeen Young Professionals and supporting the development of the next wave of talent in the North East, get in touch
Our Mentors and Mentees will be publishing blogs as they progress through the AYP Mentor Scheme