Bethany

What it means to be a mentor

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Bethany Rodgers-Rintoul, Project Manager at MBN Solutions and an experienced data recruiter, discusses why she decided to become a mentor and tells us how she’s benefitted from the experience.

Like most folk, during lockdown, I found myself with lots more free time and I wanted to invest it wisely, which is why I’m now a volunteer mentor with Codeclan! It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience and I’ve built up relationships with both students and the instructor team that I know will be very valuable in the future. 

I was a little bit hesitant in volunteering to mentor as I’m not a technical person. I can code in some very (VERY!) basic web languages, but please don’t ask me to! My own background is in project management and recruitment. 

Initially, I wasn’t sure how I could add value, but after a conversation with Stephanie, senior data instructor, my worries were put to bed. We easily found common ground and quickly established an area that I could focus on, employability!

The data skills shortage is a real issue in Scotland and I’m eager to help fill this gap, learning the technical skills that are needed to succeed is only one aspect, the interpersonal and softer ’employability skills’ are just as vital to ensure the next generation of data professionals in Scotland. 

The instructors are clear that any time you can give them is appreciated. Regardless of your skillset or level of experience, it is worth getting in touch with them to see where you could add value. 

From my experience, mentoring works both ways, I’ve learnt a lot from the students and Codeclan instructors over the last few months. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider it:

  • Mentoring outwith your own organisation is a great opportunity to gain new perspectives and fresh ideas from others. It’s a chance to collaborate and learn how the world looks through someone else’s eyes. Fresh perspective leads to more innovation and ultimately, you may come away with better insights!
  • Not only does mentoring allow you to become a better leader but you’ll also be recognised as a subject matter expert. Being an expert in your chosen field is one thing, but learning how to speak and present on it is a totally different and acquired skill. You’ll also strengthen your existing skills – the best way to embed knowledge is through teaching and repetition. You may find yourself re-learning the basics along the way. 
  • Do you remember a former coach, boss or manager who gave you some priceless advice? Or helped you advance in your own career? By mentoring, you can really help advance the careers of those just starting out. 
  • And finally, mentoring gives you the ‘feel-good factor’! There’s nothing better than knowing your time and efforts are helping others- you are putting positives vibes out the in world and it will pay off in the long run. 

 

Over the past few months, I’ve enjoyed collaborating with the students and seeing their careers in data unfold. It’s been a great experience speaking with individuals who are motivated and determined to succeed. I’m looking forward to seeing the difference that they can make to the Scottish Data community. 

If you’re interested in taking part in our mentoring scheme, please fill out this form and we’ll be in touch.

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