Mentees and Mentors
Mentors volunteer their time and expertise to further develop the career aspirations of the next generation of recruits within the sector. They use their knowledge to support your decision making approach rather than influence the direction of your career. Although they can offer advice, the sign of a good mentor is someone who listens and is responsive to your individual situation.
It is a relationship based on mutual respect, with each party outlining their expectations for the interaction. The peer-to-peer partnership is a development of trust and a two-way learning experience. Although it may be seen as impolite, when this relationship does not fit both parties it is best to reassess, otherwise valuable, mutual benefits may be lost. Once established within their chosen field, many of those who were once mentees become mentors to carry on the exchange of knowledge and guidance, continuing this sustainable model of personal and professional development.
The Resilience Syndicate Interns have been fortunate to have been offered the opportunity of a mentor during their internships, along with the support received from Culture Syndicates and our partnered museums. Below, the three remaining interns share their experiences and thoughts.
My mentor is Carolyn Holmes, Development Manager at the Bradgate Park Trust. Although coming from a different side of academia to me, Carolyn had great insight into the sector with a new point of view. She was very willing to share her experiences and help me in any way she could. Although I am still torn as to which part of the heritage sector I would like to join following my internship, I know Carolyn would offer any information she had, if asked.
I am mentored by Fiona Lewin, Conservation Officer at the Workhouse National Trust property in Southwell. Her support has been invaluable to me in thinking about the route my career might take and the kind of work I would like to do. Hearing about the kind of tasks Fiona does in her role as a Conservation Officer has allowed me to determine that I would enjoy working in a similar role, primarily collections based but with some interpretation and engagement work. It has also been beneficial to understand the route she took to get into her position – this has informed the kinds of jobs I plan to apply for when my internship ends.
I have been fortunate to be mentored by Clare Pickersgill, the Museum Keeper at the University of Nottingham Museum. Upon my first visit she provided an insight into her experience within the heritage sector and listened to where I hoped my career would develop. With this information she introduced me to key staff within her organisation who work in my fields of interest, education, outreach and access, providing me with the opportunity to speak to additional people and ask more questions. Having made the transition from Sport Development to the Heritage Sector, Clare has assisted with the development of my CV and helped to identify transferable skills that I can apply to my future career.
Written by Siân Fox, Emma Raymond and Anne-Marie Rooney, Resilience Syndicate Interns