We sat down with Tom Downing, Technology Director at digital transformation agency, Freestyle, who joined the BIMA Mentoring Programme as mentee in 2021.
It was clear that I needed to talk with someone who’s been through this kind of experience at scale, in the big agency space.
At the time, Freestyle was going through a big change in positioning which meant a new recruitment drive was required. I took the reins as Technical Director to deliver the engineering team’s growth and development, and Freestyles tech strategy overall. It was clear that I needed to talk with someone who’s been through this kind of experience at scale, in the big agency space.
Very well organised and massively valuable to me. The mentor/mentee matching is on another level! I’ve gained so much in such a short space of time following the programme.
From the first minute of meeting my mentor Matt Webb, we quickly noticed why we’ve been matched as we have so much in common, both professionally and personally! This really helped ease me into the sessions as trust was built very quickly from my side. Matt put a huge amount of effort into mentoring me, above and beyond the remit of the programme which I’m immensely grateful for. We’ve stayed in touch and continue to work together now.
This sounds obvious but so many people I speak to don’t consider it enough.. answer the question ‘what do you want to get out of mentoring?’ first. Without this you’ll have lots of interesting conversations with a mentor, but gain very little in terms of progression. Also, trust the process, commit to the effort required on your part, and put in the work needed. Lastly, be yourself and be honest in the relationship.
I’ve been inspired from the programme as a mentee, I’m now on the other side as a mentor for 2022. I’ve also taken my learnings into the way I coach my own team.
Applications for our Autumn cohort are currently open and we are looking for both Mentors and Mentees. If you would like to find out more about our Mentoring Programme, click here.