My BIMA Mentoring Experience – Rachel Faber

By Rachel Johnson
14 Jun 2018

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Rachel Faber, Your Favourite Story

BIMA’s Mentoring Programme is an invaluable source of practical advice, inspiration and perspective for mentees. And it can be just as rewarding an experience for mentors.

Here, Your Favourite Story’s Rachel Faber talks about her experiences as a first time mentor as part of last year’s cohort.

If you’d like to explore what BIMA Mentoring could do for you, you’ll find the details at the foot of this page.

1. Why did you sign up to be a mentor with BIMA?

I believe mentoring can play such a big role in your career and development. I had someone early on in my career who ‘mentored’ me without really knowing, and I still put some of her tips/tricks and advice into play in my current role.

2. If you’ve been a mentor before with someone other than BIMA, how was your experience different/better this time?


3. If you’ve never been a mentor before, what convinced you to take the plunge with BIMA?

I really trust BIMA as an organisation and felt like they would have a great pool of people as part of their programme. It also came at a time in my career when I was looking for new challenges and becoming a mentor was one I had identified myself but just not been approached/had the opportunity.

4. How much time did you need to commit to the programme? How did you manage that?

We met 4-5 times each session for at least an hour. We also contacted each other via email outside of this time on an ad-hoc basis. My mentee helped to schedule the sessions and I asked for these to take place either in my offices or around the area to help with my schedule – which she was very accommodating with.

5. What difference(s) do you feel you made?

My mentee was in a really interesting stage in her career and role. I hope I helped her to look at the situation from another perspective and apply some of the learnings I have had to some of the challenges she faced. Some more quick-win/practical and some longer term.

6. In what ways do you feel mentoring benefitted you?

Being a mentor is such a learning curve. You learn so much about yourself through supporting someone else through their challenges. You also need to very organised and learn to really listen to your mentee and be present in the situation. I think mentoring has given me a fresh perspective with how I work with some of the people in my team. I have also been working closely with our Head of HR to introduce an internal mentoring scheme of the back of his as well

7. If you knew someone who was thinking of being a mentor this year, what three pieces of advice would you give to ensure they got the most out of it?

Location is everything – go out of the office or book a meeting room or quiet space (away from distractions). This is particularly important on the first session when you are getting to know your mentee.

Be present – ensure you have no distractions and really listening to your mentee and the challenges they have. I tried to write up my notes afterwards and send over any notes/actions

Do your research/prepare – your mentee might be in the same industry and you may have some great examples to share but really good to keep your finger on the pulse so that you can support as much as possible (industry knowledge for example). Also ensure you arrive prepared (review any actions or thoughts from the last session)

How could BIMA’s mentoring programme benefit you? Find out here, and to talk about becoming a mentor or mentee with this year’s cohort, get in touch here.

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