Member Insights: Why join the ICRS Mentoring programme as a mentee?

Leah Larkin is Social Responsibility Advisor at Northern Power Grid. 

Leah's journey as a mentee in the ICRS mentoring programme has been an incredible experience filled with growth and development. In this article, she shares her insights and experiences with those who are considering participating in the ICRS mentoring programme, inspiring them to take the leap and pursue their own personal and professional goals. Read on to discover the transformative power of mentorship and how it can help you achieve your potential.

The ICRS mentoring programme. It’s a great moral and confidence boost.  

What motivated you to apply to this program?

I used to manage a mentoring programme to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, so I completely appreciate the value of having a mentor who will listen and encourage. I had been wanting to get a new job and I felt that a little extra motivation, to help me keep going to find the right thing, was what I needed to succeed. I wanted to be connected to someone who works in the Corporate Responsibility sector who I didn’t know, so I could hear a fresh perspective from the point of view of someone who doesn’t have any pre conceived ideas about what would be best for me.

What are the benefits and challenges of being a mentee?

The benefits of being a mentee are that you have someone on your side who you can talk to about what you perceive your challenges to be. It’s great to have that time put aside to focus on your own goals, come up with action plans to improve your situation and feel positive and confident about achieving your goals.

The challenges of being a mentee are that you have to be open with your mentor about what you feel your challenges are and it can be daunting to talk about those, but if you have a good mentor they will help you to realise that you can do anything if you put your mind to it, so it’s a really important thing to do during your conversations.

How has your mentor helped you achieve your goals?

I have been really lucky and have the absolute best mentor! His support has been a combination of good listening, encouragement and really good practical advice. He helped me to properly understand the STAR technique of answering interview questions and planning the first 90 days at a new job, for example.

What are some of the key lessons or insights you have learned from being a mentee?

One of the key lessons I learnt from being a mentee was not to overthink things and not to be intimidated by a job specification. Once you talk through things that you think are challenges you can realise that they aren’t as daunting as you had thought.

What have you enjoyed about the program?

My favourite part of the programme has been meeting my mentor Alex and getting to know him a bit. He is a lovely person and I’ve really enjoyed and appreciated him giving his time to help me. I am very grateful for that. And I got a new job! So that has been a brilliant result.

What advice would you give someone who is looking to apply for the ICRS mentoring programme?

I would definitely recommend anyone apply for the ICRS mentoring programme. It’s a great moral and confidence boost. I didn’t get a match the first time I applied so I would say, try again if you don’t get a match initially, as it’s worth the wait.