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Callan Richardson – Meet the Mentor

Hi I’m Callan, and I’m a multi-disciplinary designer based in the UK. I’ve been involved in the creative technology field for over a decade now, with a specific focus on learning and finding creative and innovative ways to present information. At this stage, I have worked with a wide range of clients, ranging from small independent brands to large national organisations.
Callan Richardson

Senior Digital Designer, Acumé

Why did you decide to become a mentor?
I had already been involved in training and had experience tutoring people at various levels of education - primary school level, university students, and young professionals. When I found out about a digital platform for online mentoring, it made perfect sense and I naturally signed up to begin my mentorship journey.

I originally came to MentorCruise with no expectations and after a short time, I discovered what an engaging and fulfilling platform this can be. I now enjoy the creative process more - something which I put down to engaging with other passionate individuals as well as creating my own bespoke resource for them.

How did you get your career start?
A pivotal point for me was going to university; it changed the trajectory of where I was going and what opportunities were available to me. I’ve always been creative and enjoyed working with technology and software, so I chose a course that covered a broad range of topics in design and development.

In my third year, I was lucky enough to land a graduate job where I gained a few years of industry experience before moving on to new things. Over these years, I’ve enjoyed working on websites, logos, brand work, e-learning packages, and augmented reality.

Day-to-day, I’m now creating 3D crime scene reconstructions for review in live UK court trials. However, I am still very much a generalist at heart and as passionate as ever - finding the time to work on my other interests whenever I get the chance.

What do mentees usually come to you for?
All mentees have different requirements, even if they are in similar situations or appear to have the same problem on the surface. Mentoring definitely isn’t and shouldn’t be a ‘one size fits all’ approach. For me, this is why it’s important to contextulise the needs of each mentee early on, to achieve a better outcome later. Some mentees are better at explaining this than others so you need to be fluid as a mentor to gain a better understanding.

This is especially important in the first week, as requirements can be used to create a plan of action that will give structure to the mentorship and leave the mentee in a better place.

What’s been your favourite mentorship success story so far?
I have had some notable success stories, such as working with university students who have achieved first-class grades in final-year projects. However, something that might seem small, like building confidence in a mentee, can be equally rewarding as it can mean just as much to the individual.

Success as a mentor comes from seeing results and positive feedback from the people I work with. If mentees can understand and apply given knowledge in a meaningful and useful way, then that is extremely fulfilling. What more could you ask for?!

What are you getting out of being a mentor?
What makes mentoring so enjoyable is working with people who are keen to learn and share similar interests. Mentoring is very much a two-way street, as it requires a shared passion for the same subject and effective communication from both parties.

Personally, mentorships have re-ignited my passion for the fundamentals, in turn refining my skill set. Providing people with bespoke resources has entailed all kinds of research involving interesting topics. I have been pushed to recall the basics and think like a beginner, back to the time when I first started and what my thought process was when confronted with a challenge.

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