Published on: 01-Jul-2020
The Nanyang Business School (NBS) Alumni Mentorship Programme was introduced in 2019 to foster the spirit of giving back and connect current NBS students with NBS alumni mentors from different industries around the globe.
The programme also brings individuals from different educational and professional specialisations together on a learning journey.
One such pair is NBS alumna, Rebecca Lim (Bachelor of Business with specialisation in Hospitality & Tourism Management, Class of 1998) and her mentee Shereen Begam (Bachelor of Accountancy, Class of 2019).
Rebecca is Head of Our Better World, from the Singapore International Foundation, while Shereen is currently working at Deloitte in the Financial Services Industry Audit department. Despite their seemingly different backgrounds, the pair had a very positive experience during the mentorship programme.
L to R: Mentor, Rebecca Lim & Mentee, Shereen Begam
Having often mentored young people in an informal way, Rebecca believed joining this programme would be a good way to be a part of and learn from a structured mentoring programme.
Shereen, on the other hand, wanted to learn the different career paths available in the corporate world after graduation. She also wanted to know what sort of career would be suitable based on her strengths and weaknesses, and believed this programme would be very useful for her.
Shereen gained many takeways from this programme.The first one being, setting plans for her career and personal development in the spans of five, 10 and 15 years' time frames. She would have never thought so far, and it made her to reflect and think deeper what she truly wanted in life.
Secondly, despite already knowing her her strengths and weaknesses from previous leadership programmes, this mentorship programme further defined her core values which drove her decision-making, and are values that she would unknowingly be grounded to under any circumstances.
More importantly, she learnt essential soft skills from Rebecca on managing time and having a balance while starting a career. Rebecca emphasised that regardless how busy you are with work, one should have a routine in place, so that there would always be downtime to unwind and relax.
Besides learning from each other, the pair also also discovered new things about themselves. Rebecca found out that she could be more focused and have a certain level of flexibility in each mentoring session that resulted in value for the mentee. Shereen learnt that her passion for public speaking and theatre, and the lessons she learnt from it, could be weaved into the different aspects of her career. For instance, the confidence and eloquence in speaking and communicating at workplace and with clients is a skill that was deeply honed from her interests in public speaking and theatre. Rebecca also encouraged Shereen that it was possible that her passion or hobby could marry her corporate goals as well.
As the mentorship programme draws to a close, Rebecca and Shereen shared some parting words to each other. Rebecca advised Sheeren to embrace the opportunities and challenges that come her way with the right attitude, because these life experiences would be priceless in shaping her in maturity. Shereen expressed her gratitude towards Rebecca – Rebecca's advice and guidance have been very enriching and Shereen has been consciously heeding her words since the start of the programme.
To fellow alumni or students who are deliberating on whether to sign up for this programme, both Rebecca and Shereen highly recommended the programme. Rebecca shared that with all the life experiences one has gathered over the years, taking time off to mentor a student will be a meaningful way to support their development as well as a good investment for mentors. Rebecca also advised all students joining the programme to come with an open mind, take this opportunity to ask many questions and learn from someone who has much to impart because of their life experiences.
Shereen felt that the programme was extremely fruitful and valuable, especially when one draws closer to the end of university life. The programme helped with her transition from a school to work environment – bridging the gap between university and workplace. Shareen also found comfort and benefited from Rebecca's sharing, especially on the doubts and concerns she had when she first entered the workforce and how she managed to overcome them.
"All in all, this is an excellent programme for any graduating student," Shereen concluded.
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