Anita Brook, Managing Director of Accounts Assist UK Ltd and vice-president of ACCA’s practitioners panel explains how mentoring is good for both the mentee and the mentor
We all start somewhere. We’ve all taken the first steps in our careers and at times could have done with some additional support. This is why having a mentor can be an essential link between knowledge, experience and support.
Typically within the accountancy sector a mentor will be a fully qualified accountant with a number of year’s frontline experience. A mentee is normally a student studying for ACCA accreditation, or a degree in accountancy or they are already a practicing accountant at junior level.
The mentor and mentee both gain from the mentoring experience in difference ways. A few are listed below:
Benefits for the mentor:
- Get to reflect on their own experience and knowledge
- Gain an insight into the younger side of their own industry
- Gain an insight into new/current teaching methods
- A way of being close to current issues as they happen
- Recognised at work for getting involved and giving something back in a positive way
- Can be a great way to spot talent for future recruitment campaigns
Benefits for the mentee (student):
- Having a mentor is an important form of learning during the early stages of a professional career
- Mentors offer real experience and working knowledge that cannot be gained from textbooks or the internet
- Access technical support. A mentor traditionally has a higher qualification level, typically a qualified accountant with a number of years experience
- A mentor can provide an independent, yet experienced voice that isn’t work or education focused
- Can advise how to balance workloads and set priorities
- Mentors can share work place do’s and don’ts
- Provide networking opportunities and other important contacts
- A mentor can be a positive force to push a mentee forward to achieving professional goals and qualifications
- A mentor can also become a mentee’s champion. This could be for further opportunities within the business or wider industry
Both mentor and mentee benefit from the relationship, and when undertaken in a business environment it can have a positive effect on the team’s working relationships.