Kirsten Pickering, Executive Assistant to the CEO, National Grid: Supporting the transition from education to workplace

Speaking on behalf of National Grid Ventures, Kirsten tells us about their motivations for getting involved in the 1MM programme. An employee of over 20 years, Kirsten has a deep understanding of the need to support our future workforce, and sees mentoring as a key way in which to seek out and develop new talent.

Please can you tell me a bit about yourself?

My name is Kirsten Pickering and I am the Executive Advisor to the CEO of National Grid Ventures, and have worked for National Grid for over 20 years. I am proud to work for National Grid because, as well as being a great engineering and asset management company, we also have a very strong corporate and social responsibility mentality. We give great focus to ensuring we all do our bit to support, develop and safeguard the communities in which we operate, as well as delivering engineering solutions to decarbonise the planet.

Why did your company want to get involved with 1MM?

Quite simply, because it’s the right thing to do. We have all been through that transition from education to the workplace and know how daunting and confusing it can be. National Grid actively seeks out new talent, and has graduate and apprenticeship programmes in place, so supplementing this approach with mentoring is a logical step.

What challenges do you see facing young people today?

From my perspective, the world is completely different now in terms of technology and social media. I feel that young people need to be much more resilient as, due to platforms like Facebook and Instagram, they are potentially much more exposed to cyber bullying etc. Taking the big step into the working world can be daunting enough, without these additional pressures.

Have there been any positive outcomes for your business as a result of your involvement with 1MM?

We are still in our early days here, but I am already hearing great feedback from the mentors about how fulfilling they are personally finding the mentoring (as well as being beneficial to the mentee).

Have you personally learnt anything through your involvement with 1MM?

I have been extremely pleased at the number of people who have put themselves forward to be involved in One Million Mentors, and how keen they are to get started!

What would you say to someone who is considering partnering with 1MM?

Definitely get involved. Once all of the admin is complete, it’s one hour per month that could really make the difference to a young person in your local community.