Paul first heard about the Professional Mentoring scheme through the Professional Liaison Unit. He looked into the scheme, applied, was interviewed and was identified as someone extremely capable but with low confidence.
Paul’s mentor was Armin Razavi, an Information Architect who has previously worked at Thomson Reuters, Royal Mail and currently works for Kantar IT Partnership. Together, they met up once a month over a period of six months to help Paul work on his confidence, understand more about himself and his career goals. Over time things started to fall into place. Paul credits Armin with being a catalyst in him securing a placement.
Armin won the “Mentor of the Year” award at the Student Impact Awards after Paul wrote an outstanding nomination for him.
We spoke to Armin Razavi about why he decided to become a Professional Mentor and about how he felt about his time as a mentor.
“I was a student at City University London from 1988 - 1998 and I undertook a BA, Masters and PhD here so I felt very connected to this institution. Yet while I enjoyed student life, I strongly lacked careers advice, I remember going into the old Careers Centre and them giving me a leaflet and me feeling quite lost. I went out and got a job and progressed and it wasn’t until I received an alumni newsletter calling for alumni to become mentors that I re-visited that feeling.
I was mentoring at work but this was more rigid and task oriented. With Paul things were freer flowing as he led the way. Paul had very low confidence but a lot of ambition, we worked him really hard and he excelled. The scheme puts undergraduates in a professional situation and makes them evaluate their course and journey. I love being a mentor as you see the results as university teaches you raw skills but not about life. It was awesome to win the award - Paul has a job and has been great. We have bonded and it has made me realise the value you add by being a mentor.”
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