Charles Randell CBE, Chairman, Financial Conduct Authority
Charles is mentoring a young person living in East London on the 2020/21 mentoring programme.
I am currently the Chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority, which is a role I took on around three years ago.
In practice I did quite a lot of mentoring in the 30 or so years I worked at a law firm, looking after the career development of a number of colleagues, but [I didn’t mentor them] in a formal or structured way.
After Coronavirus first emerged I was very concerned about the effect this was going to have on the lives of people just leaving school and further education. In many sectors a large number of staff have been furloughed, and the priority of firms will be to get those workers back rather than necessarily going out and looking for additional workers.
I signed up for One Million Mentors because I had a really strong sense that something needed to be done for people in the 18 – 25 year old age bracket given the obvious impact the pandemic was going to have on their lives and employment prospects. I don’t have the time to get involved in the governance of a mentoring organisation but I do have the time to be a mentor, so directly supporting a young person was the best way I could get involved.
Initially our sessions were quite structured but then my mentee got a job, which gave him the time to relax a bit and think about what he really wanted to do. We’ve had regular discussions about the kind of thing he might want to do and how he might go about getting and applying for those roles.
The help he needed was really around staying positive, structuring his applications and interview technique. We did some practice interviews and I gave him feedback on some of the areas he might want to develop, which he said was very helpful.
[My mentee] has changed from the person I knew at the beginning of the relationship – someone who didn’t have any work experience in a large organisation – to someone who has picked up habits and gained confidence from working with people with experience in a full time environment. Even things like his eye contact and posture have improved, which seem small but matter so much when you are doing an interview.
[Mentoring] isn’t a big commitment – you have a conversation with your mentee once a month – but it allows you to give a lot back and have a big impact on that person.