Linda, mentor from London pilot: Aim for the stars

Linda Flavell is a solicitor at property investment and development company Almacantar, and has been mentoring Nazrin since 2018. Linda is proud to be guiding Nazrin as she navigates the uncertain world of work, and has seen the positive impact on her mentee and in her own workplace. 

Why did you choose to mentor?

I thought that mentoring was going to be a way of reliving my parenting experience with my own kids. I soon realised that that was completely wrong. And doing the brilliant training that 1MM has online, the scenarios you read and the questions they ask at the end of each session online, they were brilliant for making me realise it would be different.

I think you feel more like you’re a teacher when raising a child. With your mentee, it’s more about listening and letting the mentee think for themselves. Questioning their decisions but leaving the decisions to them.

What activities did you and your mentee engage in?

It really has been around her career progress. The training tells you that the mentee must decide what they want to get out of the meeting. It’s really difficult for young people starting out now getting into law. She has lots of different choices and her discussion with me helps her think through her options – I’m someone to bounce ideas off.

We’ve discussed all sorts of things – it’s a friendship as well.

Have you enjoyed your mentoring experience?

Yes, definitely. Nazrin is keen and enthusiastic and bright and interesting.

I think it’s the way you can help – you think that you don’t have anything to give until you start speaking to someone a lot younger than you. Then you realise you’ve come a long way yourself and have got skills and experience that you can give. It’s really rewarding.

Just seeing that you can open someone’s mind up to other possibilities and give them a bit of confidence is nice.

Have you noticed the impact that mentoring has had on your mentee?

I definitely think that she has grown in confidence over the year that we’ve been meeting up. Partly because she’s in the world of work and getting experience. Partly because I hope, I think, I have engendered confidence in her that she is doing really well.

Mentoring gives you resilience, it gives you opportunities to perhaps take stock and think about what you really want to do.

Have you learnt anything through your mentoring experience?

I think it’s made me realise how hard it is for young people these days. How much more uncertain the world of work is for them. I think this has made me more supportive of the younger members of staff.

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

I would definitely recommend that they do it. I think even if they are daunted about the online training – they shouldn’t be. Even if they only do that, I think it’d make them think about themselves; how they react and behave with other people. I thought it was really excellent

You think it’s a lot, but one hour, once a month, really goes quickly and the charity itself is really friendly.

I think they should change the name to two million or five million mentors – aim for the stars!