Sandra Isaac: My mentor

My mentor is my current line manager, Kathryn Pritchard. I met her a couple of years ago when we worked in the same business area in BT.

Our mentoring relationship has always been on an informal basis. We worked together for six months before moving into different business areas within BT although we stayed in contact and met up at least once every two months.

I was working in an HR business partner role but had it in the back of my mind to change to an organisational development role. What ended up happening is that Kathryn’s team had an organisational development vacancy a year later and I joined her team five months ago.

Where mentoring helped me was during that transition to a new area, having someone who I found professional to show me what skills I needed to develop.

Kathryn still mentors me although it’s much less formal now. She’s very much focused on development, and is always pushing me to think about the next step, even if it’s 18 or 24 months away.

She’s very happy to share her network of contacts, which has been very beneficial to me, particularly in areas where she feels other people might have more experience than she does. And that’s also helped me think about what I’m going to do next – although I may need to change mentors if I move into a different role and to find someone active in that area.

I’ve got such a lot out of mentoring that I would be happy to become a mentor, and to share my own networks and experience with someone else.

Sandra Isaac, organisational development consultant, BT Group

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