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Mouhammad Essayed – Meet the Mentor

Hello, my name is Mouhammad Essayed. As an experienced information security practitioner with over a decade in the field, I thrive on embracing new challenges. Simultaneously, I value routine tasks for the steady personal and professional growth they offer.
Mouhammad Essayed

Cybersecurity Senior Consultant, EY

Why did you decide to become a mentor?

In 2020, I began a significant chapter in my career by taking on the role of building and leading a team for the first time. This role transcended traditional management as it involved coaching and mentoring. I provided foundational guidance, and it was inspiring to see the team consistently exceed expectations. This experience reinforced my belief in the importance of a positive mindset and strong motivation for achieving success.

As their leader, my goal was to alleviate uncertainties and streamline their professional development, always aiming to enhance their success more efficiently than my own career trajectory had allowed. Mentorship, to me, means more than just management; it's about being a visionary leader who nurtures potential and supports the team through all challenges. The true reward has been witnessing my team's extraordinary achievements, often surpassing our initial goals, which has not only catalyzed their growth but also refined my approach to leadership, focusing on empowerment and collective success.

How did you get your career start?

Reflecting on my career start, the concept of 'uncertainty' was central. It's important to be mindful about one's future, yet not overly anxious. My journey began as a helpdesk administrator, but even during my university days, I was already contemplating my career trajectory. I believe it's normal, and actually healthy, to experience changes in career aspirations. It's part of discovering your true path. My advice, shaped by my own experiences and the wisdom of various mentors, is to strike a balance between patience and ambition. It's crucial not to jump too hastily or change paths too frequently. Give yourself the opportunity to learn, grow, and thoughtfully consider your next steps. Acting in haste can be as limiting as complacency. So, while it's essential to be ambitious and forward-thinking, allowing yourself time to absorb and reflect on each experience is equally important. This approach has guided me through the uncertainties of early career decisions and helped me find my footing in the professional world.

What do mentees usually come to you for?

Typically, mentees reach out to me with questions about entering or transitioning into the cybersecurity field. I find each mentee's unique personality, mindset, and background intriguing and enjoy the challenge of tailoring my guidance to their individual needs. Before agreeing to mentor someone, I engage in a preliminary dialogue to gauge their understanding and commitment. It's crucial that a mentee has at least a basic grasp of what they aspire to achieve in cybersecurity. This initial understanding is foundational for a productive mentorship. Without this, the mentorship risks becoming directionless. I believe in the power of informed and purpose-driven mentorship. It's not just about guiding someone; it's about empowering them to pursue their dreams with clarity and confidence. Each mentee's journey is unique, and it's my role to help them navigate their path with a clear vision and a strong sense of purpose.

What's been your favourite mentorship success story so far?

In 2021, one of my most rewarding mentorship experiences unfolded. I had the opportunity to work closely with team members across my company, focusing on enhancing their leadership skills. The highlight of this journey was witnessing them evolve into independent leaders capable of managing significant processes on their own. What made this particularly fulfilling was seeing these individuals not only take on more responsibilities but also confidently chart their own career paths with minimal guidance. The transformation from being team members to emerging as leaders who could make strategic decisions and drive initiatives was remarkable. This experience stands out to me because it encapsulates the essence of effective mentorship – empowering others to discover and leverage their potential, ultimately leading them to self-sufficiency and confident decision-making in their careers. The success of these individuals in taking charge of their professional journeys and the positive impact they continue to make in their respective roles is, for me, a testament to the power of mentorship.

What are you getting out of being a mentor?

Mentorship, for me, is a deeply fulfilling experience. It goes beyond just imparting knowledge or guiding someone; it's about the profound satisfaction that comes from positively influencing an individual's life and career trajectory. Seeing a mentee discover and pursue their true career path is incredibly rewarding. Furthermore, being a mentor continuously sharpens my own leadership skills. Each mentoring relationship challenges me to evolve, to communicate more effectively, and to better understand diverse perspectives. This ongoing development is invaluable, as it not only enriches my current professional engagements but also lays a stronger foundation for my future as an impactful leader. In essence, mentorship is a two-way street of growth – it's about shaping futures while simultaneously fortifying my own leadership journey.

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