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Mentor Name: Kate Evans

Role: Customer Accounts Trainer for Admiral Group

My role is to provide training for staff across all functions of payment procedures and ensure they are competent via on-going coaching.

I also design and deliver bespoke soft skills training to my own department and run an internal development plan. As well as this, I identify any training needs and conduct the necessary training based on my findings.

Why did you decide to join the mentoring scheme?

When I graduated, I didn’t feel as though I had any direction. I believe that if I had the support of a mentor, I would have found my path a lot quicker.

What advice do you have for current students and new graduates?

That experience is everything. You can’t join a Graduate scheme and expect to be a senior manager within a year. It takes a lot of work and an open mind, and you need to be prepared to learn any business from the ground up.

Be willing to challenge, but be willing to learn and develop and realise it’s an ongoing process. Fresh out of university, you have the academic knowledge and you need to build around that with experience in the working world.

What are the most rewarding parts of being a mentor?

I love being able to share my experiences and be a sounding board for somebody embarking on the scary world of work! I joined the Graduate Scheme here at Admiral back in 2014, which gave me great insight into wider areas of the business. As my mentee is currently applying for graduate schemes, I feel I can offer some direction on this which seems to be valued greatly.

Have you found any parts of the mentoring scheme a challenge, and if so what and why?

I can honestly say I haven’t. I do a lot of coaching and in some ways, mentoring feels like a nice change from this as it’s more a sharing of ideas and offering insight.

What are your career plans for the future?

I want to remain in Learning and Development. I am still enjoying my role as a Trainer so can’t imagine ever not doing that! I want to make sure that I am developing my training and keeping it fresh and innovative. I am currently undertaking another PGCE through work in Leadership and Education. I hope that the course will add more breadth of skills and knowledge to my role and enable me to produce training of the highest standard. I would like to be an innovator in this field, and come up with new models that give weight to the impact of effective training.

What was the best careers advice that you were given?

After university, I went to see a careers advisor as I felt a little lost. I was working as an assistant manager for a charity at the time but it felt so far removed from what I envisaged, I felt as though I had failed. She reassured me that I was actually doing ok; I had a job and I was earning and gaining experience. This relaxed me a little and I went with the flow whilst applying for jobs I really wanted.

I initially joined Admiral as an interim job however during my first week, I realised I could have a career here. I remember telling my manager that I wanted to become a trainer. He said that if I wanted it, there was no reason I couldn’t get there. From that point, I realised that you get what you put in and within 3 years, I got the role I wanted. I also learned that your path doesn’t have to be straightforward; as a trainer I am utilising the skills I developed during my teacher training therefore that time wasn’t wasted as without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

What achievement are you most proud of?

Completing my PGCE was a great achievement as it was the hardest yet most rewarding year I’ve known. Whilst I didn’t end up teaching in a school environment, it is still the best thing I could have done in terms of developing myself. When I got onto the Graduate scheme, I felt an immense sense of pride. The interview process was challenging and it was my second attempt at applying. It’s probably one of my proudest moments along with getting the training role.

And finally, describe yourself in 3 words…

Ambitious, positive and conscientious.

 

We are always looking for mentors and mentees to join the scheme. Interested?
Find out more by contacting the School of Management Employability Team