Monday, 22 August 2011


Thing 11 looks at mentors, defined as someone who takes an active interest in your career either by sharing advice and knowledge or by facilitating professional opportunities. 

I have an official mentor, someone I contacted to ask if they would support my Registration Scheme application. I’ve failed to meet up with them yet, despite being well past the half way point with preparing my portfolio. This is partly due to my reluctance to bother them, and partly due to my being accustomed to working alone, particularly towards goals which only benefit myself. I would like to overcome both these tendencies, which can leave me professionally isolated, and it is foolish not to make the most of help that is freely offered. During my Archives Administration diploma, which I took part in via distance learning, I had the minimum contact it was possible to have with the department at Aberystwyth and with my fellow intake. I think I would have benefitted from getting more involved at that stage, especially in developing a network of peers working in archives, something I feel I lack at present.

I was very fortunate to have an unofficial mentor when I was an undergraduate. A lecturer, she counselled me in both a personal and professional capacity throughout a major turning point in my final year. She provided academic guidance which helped me attain a first class degree, arranged professional references which resulted in the offer of a postgraduate scholarship, and provided priceless work experience which led to my being selected from 200 applicants for the library job which began my career. I would not be where I am now without her. I was fortunate to attend a University where lecturers were not so preoccupied with RAE and REF and whatever other hoops they have to jump through to support their students when they needed it most. I knew I could knock on her door any time, and I think that this academic and pastoral support is sadly lacking for many students today.

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