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03 June 2020

'King's shaped my skills and dreams. I'm a great believer in paying it forward.'

David Martinelli on why he gives back and the power of mentoring.

David Martinelli pictured with King's Business School staff and the interns he mentors
David Martinelli (left) pictured with King's Business School staff and the interns he mentors

David Martinelli (Hispanic Studies with Mathematics, 1991) always dreamed of working in banking and, after graduating, secured his first job at Smith Barney bank. His boss soon became his mentor. It was this early experience of mentoring that helped David climb the ladder to a senior position at the investment bank, Morgan Stanley.

David is now President of King’s New York Alumni Association and a donor to the King’s Business School Internship Programme and Civic Leadership Academy. He talks to us about why it is important to him to give back to the King’s community and why he volunteers as a mentor.

350 David

Why do you mentor with King's?
King’s shaped my skills and dreams. I hope that anything that I can now give back, whether supportive or financial, will help make a difference to the next generation.

How have you benefited from your mentoring experience?
Having a mentor early in my banking career was so beneficial to me. I realise how fortunate I am, and how so many people have helped me, so I feel a sense of purpose in paying this forward. It’s important to always keep learning and furthering yourself and I learn so much from mentoring.

I volunteer. I love giving my time. Whether mentoring, sharing ideas, offering guidance or financial assistance. I believe that if you went to King’s, you owe it, in a way, to help others from King’s. I’m a great believer in paying it forward.

David Martinelli

Why do you think mentoring is important?
It’s one of the most powerful tools out there. To have someone listening, giving advice and sharing ideas has really helped me with my career. It doesn’t matter how old or at what point in your life you’re at, everyone can benefit from a helping hand. When I look back at my time at King's, I am thankful for all the help and advice I was given, but I would have benefitted even more if I’d had a wider support network. It’s so rewarding for me to share my experiences with my mentees and see them gain confidence and insight.

What do you think are good qualities to have as a mentor?
Being open and supportive. Being someone that can provide meaningful dialogue and encouragement. Positive energy is key. In essence, a mentor is someone who is there without judgement or bias.

Mentoring has given me great joy and satisfaction. It’s is one of the most powerful tools out there and it so easily accessible. Everyone should be a mentor and mentee in life!

David Martinelli

Do you have any advice for aspiring mentors, or those who might have just started mentoring someone for the first time?
Go into it with an open mind. Mentorship can take many forms, from providing advice or support, to just being someone to grab a coffee with and talk about what’s on your mind. Don't feel like you always have to give or solicit advice. Gauge what your mentee needs and tailor your 'mentorship' to help that person progress in life. It is a very powerful skill and to quote a Marvel character – ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. So just remember you have the power to help mould someone's life.

What would you say to recommend mentoring to other alumni?
Try it. You will never fully understand how great it feels until you do. The ability to help someone else without bias or prejudice is such a powerful and gratifying feeling.

What do you think of our new platform King’s Connect?
I love it! I often use it to offer help and advice. I hope all our alumni realise that they can network and get guidance on King’s Connect, especially now when many of us are working remotely. Mentoring is so helpful for getting you to think about so many different aspects of life.

What does 'forever king’s’ mean to you?
If you went to King’s, you are part of a community that will help you for the rest of your life. Whether it’s an ear to listen, someone to share ideas with, mentoring, a connection or a job opportunity.

Join King’s Connect here.