Why did you decide to become a mentor?
Over the past 8 years of being a UX designer, I have had to manage and mentor many different designers from all different backgrounds and have come to realise more and more that it is one part of the job that I thoroughly enjoy. I have always loved helping people no matter what means this may be through but even more so when it comes to design as it is truly something that I am very passionate about and believe can make a massive difference to any individual or organisation.
How did you get your career start?
I started out studying Product/Digital Design back at University in London. I always had a passion for design, problem-solving and critical thinking even from a very young age. After I graduated I went straight on to become a UX designer at an agency back when UX was very much a term that nobody had really heard of, not the majority of people anyway. I was extremely fortunate to always be doing what it was that I had a passion for - design! Since landing that first job I have had a variety of roles in different settings - agencies, academic institutes, in-house at the BBC, and even freelance whilst traveling the world!
What do mentees usually come to you for?
I think the reason mentees have chosen me in the past is two-fold. Firstly, because of my vast array of industry knowledge, expertise, and experience with many well-known companies such as EasyJet, Pets at Home, Moda and the BBC. Secondly, I believe it's because of my personality and my ability to talk to people in a manner that they find easy to understand and that they feel is somebody they can really connect with, be themselves and know that everything we discuss will be clearly explained until it's been 100% properly understood.
What's been your favourite mentorship success story so far?
I have a few different ones that spring to mind over the past 3 years of mentoring but a standout one definitely has to be a guy I worked with called Joe. When we first started our mentoring sessions he was fresh out of university, had no real idea what the industry was actually looking for from designers and was very overwhelmed by the prospect of having to join a big company, fearing that he would never be able to get past the feelings of imposter syndrome that he was having. After working together for 6 months Joe went on to land his first job as a junior UX'er at Booking.com, something he never thought possible in a million years. This really just goes to show the power of mentoring and how quickly it can propel you past all of your competing designers in such a short period of time!
What are you getting out of being a mentor?
I absolutely love being a mentor! I aim to one day be just predominately a mentor/coach. I love helping others and I love being a part of their success stories. Don't get me wrong I still have a burning passion for design and love geeking out on tools such as Figma and Webflow etc. and getting into the nitty gritty of design systems or facilitating workshops but for me personally, the sense of gratification and joy that helping others bring me is second to none. It's a win-win for both parties and similarly to design itself, it has a non-negotiable huge return on investment in the long run. What's not to love!?