Skip to main content

Name: Nina Anckar

Course: Business Management with Year in Industry

If you think the transformation from school to university seems like a daunting experience, you might want to prepare for the shock that comes from being a student and suddenly finding yourself stuck with a full-time job.

Applying for a mentor in my 2nd year is something that has helped me with the transformation from university on to full time work at a big corporate, and allowed me to gain some insight in to the working world before starting my placement at Microsoft month back (in July). Before I started my placement, Helen made me think about my personality, what kind of learner I am and the goals I want to set for myself for my year in industry. This was something I would have never thought to do on my own, and now that I understand what kind of a learner I am, I try to utilize this to my benefit. Setting goals has also made think more critically about the year ahead and how I can get the most out of it.

What’s great about applying for the mentoring scheme at Birmingham uni is not only the fact that the mentors have graduated from Birmingham but more importantly so the fact that you are matched with a mentor according to your studies and career interests. I study Business Management so I was paired up with Helen who works as a Business Planning Manager at NHS. Due to her experience she was able to provide me with valuable information related to the field and help me think about my choices and opportunities for the future. Helen and I have kept in contact via the phone, via email and met up at University. I found out it’s not so much about how often you communicate but more about the relationship you are able to establish with your mentor. We don’t communicate in a certain pattern which makes the relationship flexible, but if I have something to ask, I’m comfortable with just emailing Helen which is great!

Having a mentor is also good practise to establishing business-like relationships. Even though the mentoring period has officially come to an end Helen and I are planning to meet up again to have a catch up. The fact that I now have someone I trust and can to talk to outside of Microsoft makes me more comfortable about the year ahead as I know I’ll always have someone to go to for guidance.

Thank you Helen for all your help and guidance this year!