The Old Diocesan Issue5 Mar2020 - Page 47

strong relationships with
older people in his field. He
also notes how both mentor
and mentee ultimately benefit
from the programme. (For
testimony from these ODs,
see sidebar to the right.)
The annual programme reports
from the ODU show the success of
the OD mentorship programme
and how it adds value to ODU
membership. But it has not been
a quick sell. Approximately 15%
of leavers have asked for help
to date, a surprisingly low figure
considering the benefits. “Of
course, ODs are not obliged
to request a mentor. Some
may receive mentoring from
non-OD mentors, and for some
mentoring is not a relevant service,”
says Nicky. “But it seems to me
that for at least half the leavers
who go on to university or into
the job market, mentoring should
be of help.”
For the likes of Hilton Houghton,
Nicky Bicket and Robin Cox,
the increasing importance of
effective mentorship in today’s
often overwhelming world is
apparent in their day-to-day
work. A patient, long-term outlook
for the programme is, therefore,
critical, with the ultimate goal
of creating “a mentoring legacy” –
something to benefit all ODs, the
school community and greater
society in the long run.
This article is the third in a series of
three on the challenges of modern
education, coordinated by Rob
Worthington-Smith (1978G) and Tim
Richman (1995B). See Issues 3 and 4.
To register as a mentor
or mentee, please visit the
ODU website or follow this link:
“Michael initially asked me to review
his application for an internship at
the World Trade Organization in
Geneva. I put him in touch with one
of my friends who lives there and
is senior at the World Intellectual
Property Organization, and various
other contacts. I expect he’ll submit
a fresh application in due course
with some help from my friend
about what to include. I was able
to help him decide on where to do
his articles by testing his decisionmaking skills, and through my
contacts broaden his network.
I really enjoyed engaging with his
intellect and honesty, and was able
to be a ‘father figure’ to him.” – Peter
“I continue to work with Peter, and
the experience has been invaluable.
Whether it was advising me on
how to approach job interviews
or evaluating which career path to
follow, he has taught me to keep a
cool head and to believe in my own
ability and value. The opportunity
to consult someone with so much
experience is priceless to any
young person starting their career
– and it’s something I will always
be grateful for.” – Michael
“Jesse has some interesting
challenges and I hope that
our interactions are helping
him navigate his passage through
them. He is a helluva nice guy
with a lot of potential. As far
as I can tell, he will work well
in a team environment – which
he is not in at the moment. I can
see him in something like retail,
which is what I did.” – Chris
“I joined the programme when I was
feeling confused about my next life
phase. Chris has done more for me
in the last year than he probably
realises. His unbiased opinion and
advice have helped me to ask and
answer some hard questions. I see
him as a man I can now approach
with any issues I may face – and he
would be there, ready to listen and
comprehend, and not just instruct.
He brings a world of wisdom to our
meetings and I’m very grateful for
this opportunity.” – Jesse
“We have established a mutual trust
and understanding, and share ideas.
Importantly, through the mentorship
process we identified further areas
of development. The mentorship
process has a positive way of
ensuring follow-up on thoughts
and commitments made in each
session. One could almost call
it a ‘commitment pressure’ that
otherwise might have been allowed
to slip by or be delayed.” – Peter
“The programme has given me
the opportunity to develop strong
relationships with ODs who are
further in their life journey than I am.
Not all of us have a father figure,
and while this hasn’t replaced mine,
bouncing ideas in a low-pressure
context has come with a sense of
support. Like many opportunities
in life, the yield is a function of the
investment. My encouragement
would be to set aside reservations,
and try meeting with a mentor
and engaging in open, honest
communication to see whether it’s
working for you. A side benefit that
may not be immediately obvious is
that, as younger guys, we can spur
on our older friends with our energy,
drive and zest for life.” – Simon

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