Member Insights: Why join the ICRS Mentoring programme as a mentee?
Daniel Witte is a Sutainability Consultant at Carnstone Partners Ltd who's been in the sector for 2.5 years. He took part in the ICRS mentoring programme to learn from an experienced professional in a different type of role than his own. Read more below on his experience and advice for those considering applying for the programme.
It’s amazing how a fresh and more experienced pair of eyes can help provide a new perspective on things...and it’s just a great way to meet someone new in the same field.
What were you hoping to get out of having a mentor?
I was hoping to get two main things out of having a mentor: an outside perspective on any questions, dilemmas, ideas on how to approach projects etc.; and advice from a more experienced professional on how to grow your career, broaden and strengthen your network, and a new perspective on the CRS field from outside of consultancy (which is the area I work in).
How did you find the application process?
Applying was very quick and easy. The questions (which are used to match you with a suitable mentor) also provided good food for thought in terms of my interests and ambitions, and what I wanted out of the relationship.
How did you find the process of being matched to a mentor?
Very seamless! After going through the application process, I was simply introduced to my mentor via email and picked it up from there.
What were the 3 main benefits of having a mentor?
Firstly, that outside perspective I was looking for. It’s amazing how a fresh and more experienced pair of eyes can help provide a new perspective on things. Especially because my mentor has worked in consultancy but also in-house, so she recognised situations and questions from her past but also brought a perspective from a different angle. Secondly, it’s great to have someone to call upon when you have a boiling question or concern. We had regular calls (once every 4-6 weeks) but also met ad hoc on occasion when I wanted to talk through something. Thirdly, it’s just a great way to meet someone new in the same field. We’ll stay in touch post our formal 1-year relationship.
Do you have any advice for ICRS members wanting to join the mentoring programme?
As the famous slogan goes: “Just do it!” It’s been much more helpful than I thought it would be and worked very organically which I hadn’t expected. One thing that really helped, which my mentor suggested, was to spend 15 minutes before every meeting sending her a list of what I had really enjoyed at work since we last spoke, and anything I hadn’t (next to agenda points for our meeting). This really helped me recognise the things I was enjoying, and the few things I wanted to try to avoid / do differently going forward.
How did the mentoring programme support your career development?
It’s mainly helped me gain new perspectives on how to approach challenges and recognise what was going well as well as what wasn’t.
Would you recommend the ICRS mentoring programme?