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‘With a good support network already in place, I was surprised how much more I gained from this'

By Gemma Thomas - Learning Support Manager at York College

As a new manager and member of the College Leadership Team it was recommended that I join the Yorkshire Accord Mentoring Scheme and I was assigned a mentor within the HR team at another college.

I was unsure at first because I wasn’t sure how much I would benefit from it. I felt I had a good relationship with my manager and other colleagues as well as a good support network away from work.

I set myself three clear objectives that I hoped would help me to navigate and settle into my new role over the course of the six months of the scheme. I quickly saw the benefits to having a monthly session with a mentor who gave me the opportunity to explore and develop strategies to achieve the goals I had set.

The regular meetings gave me a chance to reflect on and evaluate my progress whilst keeping me focused on what I had already achieved. As a result of this I’ve developed an understanding around the importance of setting a few key and challenging objectives that concentrate on the strategic side of my role, rather than the everyday operational side, and to reflect on these on a regular basis. I feel that this enables me to take a step back and to review what’s going well and what needs to be improved, setting new aims or looking at new approaches accordingly. Overall I’ve grown in confidence and feel much more productive. The scheme has been hugely beneficial.

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