National Mentoring Month 2022: Hannah McLellan, Senior Architect

21 January, 2022

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Why did you want to become a mentor?

Without the help of my mentor I would not be in the position I am now. I wanted to provide that support and encouragement for others.  Being a mentor is not only about how you can help someone, it is a two-way street where you can share ideas. It also provides you as the mentor, an opportunity to learn and develop as well as the mentee.

What makes mentoring important?

Mentoring is important in all stages of a career; it is not just for students starting their studies. It provides a cross networking environment that builds in leadership and communication skills. Pick Everard has recently launched the RISE mentoring scheme which is open across all levels. I am taking part as a mentee this year whilst continuing to be a mentor to Part 3 students.

Why Is mentoring important in architecture?

Mentoring in architecture provides informal support to complement, university learning, a student’s transition in the work environment, and work place progression. It allows mentees to feel more comfortable in building relationships, discussing ideas and developing their knowledge. A lot of what we are taught at university are the ideas behind theories, and mentoring helps put those ideas into the real world.

What makes mentorship at Pick Everard unique and why is mentorship from a multi-disciplinary consultancy so valuable?

Mentorship from a multi-disciplinary practice provides a different perspective we can draw on with a wide range of knowledge from different disciplines, providing a unique viewpoint. Pick Everard provides an environment which shares knowledge across disciplines with their wide range of experience. We often work in the same building, promoting open conversation whilst working on a project.

What has been your most recent mentoring success?

Mentoring gives you a sense of satisfaction; when you see someone who has worked hard to make the deadline, finish the course and develop their skills to get where they want to be. Every time this happens you remember why you are a mentor; those are the successes. I have seen introverted mentees come out of their shell and flourish in the working environment.

How can mentoring programmes improve industry diversity and inclusion?

Mentoring can help open doors and provide opportunities to help progress professionally for students and professionals of all backgrounds. Building a relationship with someone allows experiences to be shared, providing different perspectives promoting open dialogue in a safe environment.

As a mentor, what is one piece of advice you always give mentees?

You get what you put into the relationship. I have found lots of people in industry are willing to help. You need to be prepared to build and work on that relationship, it is not single sided; this is what makes finding a mentor that you can work well with so important.

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