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Rebecca Chandler

French and Management BA, 2015. Associate Director, UBS. Diversity Mentor, 2020/2021.

Rebecca Chandler

What does it mean for you to participate in the diversity mentoring programme?

I wanted to participate in the diversity mentoring programme as a mentor to pay forwards the opportunities I’ve benefitted from during my education and career, and help widen access to career opportunities for students who are very talented but may unfairly face more barriers purely due to their personal background, or may not have role-models in their desired career within their personal network. Also, I strongly believe that companies can have more positive societal impact when their workforce reflects the diversity of society – so I try to amplify diversity in the sector I work in, investment banking, for this reason.

What did you do personally to make the most out of this programme during these 6 months?

At each mentoring meeting I made sure that both my mentee and I left with a follow-up task to complete by our next meeting, for example updating/reviewing a CV; practising aptitude tests; researching open internship programmes etc. to maintain progress momentum and make sure we both stayed engaged in the mentoring process. I also found it to be helpful, at the end of each mentoring call/meeting, to agree in advance the date of your next meeting – because it’s very easy to get busy with work and suddenly realise you’re overdue for a catch-up.

Your biggest success (e.g., helped my mentee get an internship or new job, learned more about being a good mentor, helped them with job applications, CV writing, different industries’ insights, etc.)

I helped my mentee learn more about a career-path in finance through sharing my personal experience and insights about working in the investment banking industry, and supported them in their applications to Investment Banking summer internships by giving advice on tailoring their CV, writing applications and video interview techniques.

What is the biggest advice you would give to future applicants/participants?

Discuss and set clear goals for what you want to get out of the programme with your mentor, at the beginning – but be flexible to evolve/add to these goals and explore new ideas as they come up, as your mentoring partnership progresses. Also, remember that mentoring is a chance to discuss things unique to you, not just information you could search for online; take the opportunity to explore your unique skills, interests and motivations, and potential careers/job roles that could be best suited to you personally – not just how you could fit yourself into a specific role/industry.

Why is it important for you to support current students?

Current students are having a particularly tough time managing their degree studies and starting their careers due the global COVID pandemic, with learning and assessments disrupted and a lot of internship/graduate programmes having been postponed or cancelled. Students may be struggling with concerns that their career opportunities have been reduced due to the pandemic, so it’s vital to support them with guidance on finding and making the most of available opportunities – and reassurance that there are always many different paths towards achieving career objectives.