A Mentor's Perspective

24 June 2019

I've been an Arkwright Engineering Scholarship Mentor for just over 2 years, and I have been so impressed with the calibre of the Scholars. I mentor three Scholars, and each one brings something completely unique to the table !

Scholars get a huge amount out of talking to someone who’s experienced in the career pathway they want to pursue. Having started my career in the image processing field, where I designed specialist cameras, I opened my own business 15 years ago, developing and manufacturing products for the broadcast electronics industry. I have led teams of engineers to produce world class products. 

I think the most important attribute that a good Engineering leader needs is to ask the right questions, so that your team can reach their own conclusions. Your ‘answer’ maybe completely different to a colleague’s but it’s interesting to see how their perspective can change your solution. This turns out to be the skills required of a coach or a mentor – helping Scholars to reach their own conclusions by asking the right questions.

One thing that most impressed me about the Scholars is that they already have the ‘engineering bug’ – The need to make things, to problem solve & innovate, and the sheer determination that’s essential to be an Engineer.

Whilst the benefits of having a mentor are clear for a Scholar, what’s not clear is the benefit the Mentor gains from the experience. I really enjoy being able to inspire the next generation. I wish that I had known about the opportunity earlier – it’s at its most fun when the questions you are asked are not the ones you expect.

‘Mentor’ is such a big word, and I sometimes think people are put off, thinking they don’t have enough experience to be a Mentor. All I will say is give it a go. If you have the engineering bug and want to give back, then this is how!

Could you inspire the next generation? Become an Arkwright Mentor.