Alan and Aalap’s mentoring story

Published on 6 August 2021

Alan Bainbridge, graduate of Law in 1994, mentored current medical student Aalap Asurlekar as part of the Leadership Plus Programme. They both share their experience of the mentoring process. 

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Aalap Asurlekar

“To be honest, I didn't know the Leadership Plus programme existed until I noticed some information about it in an email about the Dundee Plus Awards. I was quite intrigued by the programme because I've always been involved in leadership positions, but I've also always wanted to become better at them. I thought being paired with someone like Mr Bainbridge would be good, someone who's a leader in their field and someone who could offer me guidance. 

“In second year, I was president of the Singapore Society and I've been Vice Captain of the Cricket Club for the last two years.  I'm currently Vice President of the Sports Union too and I thought the programme might be useful to pick up ways of how I can go about the job differently because it does get monotonous if you're running in the same position for two years. I'm also the Treasurer of the Surgical Society and I'm hoping to run for school presidency next year. 

“My experience on the programme is definitely a positive one.  I've met with my mentor once a month/six weeks and I've received lots of guidance.  I was able to pull on contacts that Mr Bainbridge had.  I also got advice, especially with my LinkedIn profile which was almost non-existent.  Now I've got some posts up and I've got my connections going. I've also been able to work on my communication skills and how to approach situations. 

 “If you have the chance to be part of the Leadership Plus Programme, then go for it. I don't think there's any reason not to!  It's a commitment but you can fit it in around your studies. The programme enables you to put pen to paper on what it is you're trying to achieve and through that process of writing it down, you discover a little bit more about what it is you want to do.” 

Alan Bainbridge

“I'm an alumnus of Dundee but I only got back involved with the University a few years ago when there was an opportunity to join a lay position in Court. It was a great way to get back involved with both the institution and also the city. Having come back and invested that time, I read more about the sort of alumni involvement and opportunities to contribute to. This programme came up and I took it on as I wanted to work with some of the students and give them some guidance, support which I would have benefited from when I was an undergraduate. 

“Being on the University Court exposes you to a lot of people who are involved in the University in very different capacities, particularly getting involved with the staff and the executive members of the Court and just seeing how they operate within the institution. But you also get great exposure to the student representative who is there and is a great voice for the student body. I remember as an undergraduate that there is a time when you're coming towards the end of your undergraduate programme, and you're really thinking about what you need to do and what skills you need to best place yourself in the market. I thought it would be great for me to pass on anecdotally, the things that would have benefited me. There's a big workplace out there and there are certain skills that you need to master quite quickly and to impress people so by having opportunity to work with Aalap, I could give him some guidance as to what things will work and what things won't.   

“It was clear to me that Aalap has an entrepreneurial side that he had not yet had an opportunity to explore. We found some contacts in the School of Business through Court and we put him in touch with them. It has allowed him to explore the entrepreneurial side of the medical profession, which may have accelerated at least some of his thinking in that area.   

“It was interesting that I was matched with someone from the medical profession.  As someone who's come from the legal profession and stayed in that profession, albeit I went into banking for a while,  it still shows you how much cross pollination there is in terms of the things that you face when you're coming out of undergraduate status into either the workplace or postgraduate status. 

“Aalap is a natural leader.  There’s a science behind leadership and trying to give some of those building blocks to Aalap has been a pleasure. It's a lot of the same challenges that face us and face the students regardless of what profession we're in.”  



Story category Student work/achievement