What do you think are good qualities to have as a mentor?
Being a good listener is always helpful, as is being proactive and enthusiastic about your own career history.
Do you have any advice for aspiring mentors, or those who might have just started mentoring someone for the first time?
Before imparting advice, it’s helpful to get a clear understanding of your mentee’s goals and timelines. Also, setting up the frequency and duration of each session too, from day one helps you both out.
What would you say to recommend mentoring to other alumni?
Your experience and insight is more valuable than you might think. Mentoring is really so rewarding for both mentor and mentee. You won’t even realise how much until you’ve tried it! It can be a great way to reflect on your own experience and hone your leadership and management skills outside of your workplace. It can also expand your perspectives and expose you to new ways of thinking – all key to personal and professional growth. Plus you’ll also get a feeling of nostalgia and reminisce about your old stomping grounds once upon a time!
What (or who) has had the biggest influence on you to help you achieve your success?
I fondly remember my business school tutor, Jane Raybould. She wasn’t just a member of the King’s faculty or careers centre, but became a friend, who really took the time to understand what I was looking to achieve.
How can King’s Connect help?
This new online platform makes mentoring easier than ever. You can now connect with the King’s community anywhere in the world to seek and give advice. If you sign up as a mentor, you have control over how you’re contacted, how much time you give and the type of help you can offer. It’s very easy to use and to find the relevant contacts. You can search for people by industry, job function, subject studied, year of graduation as well as the type of help you’re willing to give or looking for. It’s a great addition to King’s face to face mentoring schemes, and an easy way to get started with mentoring, whether you sign up as a mentor, mentee or both!
For anyone considering mentoring I’d say you won’t realise how rewarding it can be until you try it.
Name: Rita Kakati-Shah
Degree: Mathematics & Management, 2001
Where is she now? Founder and CEO of Uma
You can find Rita on King’s Connect
Sign up and start making connections at kingsconnect.org.uk