Lina Solanki's Mentoring Blog
News Categories: aspirefuture
By Lina Solanki
Account Manager, Rewired PR
What made you want to be a mentor/mentee?
I have always been interested in the idea of being a mentor/mentee and when I heard about the BPS mentoring scheme, I was keen to get involved.
I was drawn to being a mentor as I liked the idea of supporting a young individual – whether it was through career goals, personal development or simply being a friend. Being a mentor to a young person in the city was a way that I could show my support to the next generation of young talent and even learn a thing or two from them.
I wanted to be a mentee to develop my own career and have someone to talk to outside of work, who could offer me advice and support based on their own experiences and the challenges that they have faced.
Have you been in a mentoring relationship before?
No, but it’s something I have always been interested in. BPS provides a great platform for young professionals in the city to connect with like-minded individuals, giving them the chance to increase their skills and inspire others in the workforce and across Birmingham.
How has your mentor helped/supported/inspired you?
My mentor is really supportive and has given me some great advice on personal development so far. She’s definitely an inspiration to me and has made me think more about what I want to achieve over the next five to 10 years, and (even more importantly) what steps I need to take to get there.
How have you found being a mentor?
At first, I wasn’t really sure what I could offer to a young person at my age but having my own mentor gave me a little more perspective. I approached my first session with my mentee as if I was meeting a new friend for a coffee. We got along really well and I felt like I had known her for ages.
Being a mentor is being that person they can talk to about work ups and downs, life in general but also having a laugh, which really helps when you’re having a tough day! I was able to offer general career advice as well as advice around key areas/skills that my mentee wanted to focus on.
Being a mentor has given me a sense of fulfilment and has shown me just how important it is to actually take time out from sitting at my desk. I found that it has not only helped me support a young person in setting their own objectives moving forward, but it has also made me believe in myself more and my ability as a working professional.
What would you say to anyone still deciding whether to sign up as a mentor/mentee?
I would say don’t be afraid to try both! I think some people shy away from it as they may see it as a huge commitment to add to their workload but it’s definitely worthwhile.
Being a mentor will increase your confidence, help your own career development and improve skills such as management and leadership. In turn, you will gain recognition for your skills and experience.
Being a mentee means you can gain practical advice and support from someone in the city who is passionate about their career and wants to help you find your own path and support you on your journey. It’s also a great opportunity to develop your communication skills, establish a sense of direction and meet new people in the city.
There are some really exciting opportunities in Birmingham and I am really enjoying being both a mentor and a mentee. I am definitely glad I signed up!