Graeme and Tisha’s mentoring story

Published on 6 August 2021

Graeme Butler, supporter of the Careers Service, mentored Pharmacology student Tisha De Guzman as part of the Leadership Plus Programme. They both share their experience of the mentoring process. 

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Tisha De Guzman

“I'm studying pharmacology and I'm taking an industrial placement, so I undertook the mentoring programme between my 3rd and 4th year. I am President of the Lacrosse Club and it's been my first real leadership role.  I wasn’t very confident in myself and I didn't want to let my team down so I signed up to the mentoring programme to improve my personal development. 

“When I found out that Graeme was my mentor, I did a bit of research on him and realized that  he's got a background in management and that's something that I wanted to work on because I’ve taken a lot on. I hold three executive roles in three different societies (President of the Lacrosse Club, VP Operations of Marketing Society and Treasurer/ Social Officer for the Sign Language Society).

“Last semester was hectic, especially the impact of the pandemic so I had to learn different things. Graeme was there to support me and give me tips that were useful in practice.  

“He gave me so many good ways to think about things.  In my president role there are some challenges, for example leading friends. Graeme helped me deal with those kinds of situations without having to break friendships. I appreciated his advice because it's something I can actually practice, not just listen to.”  

Graeme Butler

“I'm honest when it comes to mentoring, I think Tisha can only be described as a dream mentee.  I maybe get more from it than she does more often than not!  I really see it as a win-win and how all good mentoring relationships should be, which is a two-way street and not just a one-way process. We generally talk through a lot of different leadership aspects, such as engagement with students and running events.  Tisha is part of the Marketing Society and on the back of our conversations I have been invited to be one of the speakers at their conference. It’s been incredibly beneficial to really get to know a student on a personal level as well as learn about what their experience has been like through the University journey.  

 “What I always find fascinating is getting the most out of mentoring people that come from a different pathway to me. Tisha comes from a very different background and has a very different outlook on loads of different topics. But we both have things in common, we're both lifelong learners and we both hold ourselves to very high personal standards. We always want to do the best we can.   

“It’s great connecting with students from different experiences.  It would be very easy to pair me with someone who studies business and works in retail and wants to go into operations management. I think it's a great opportunity to really expand your horizons. 

“If you want to be a great mentor you’ve got to keep on learning and I think far too often in business or University you end up mentoring people that are very similar to you.  It's a great opportunity to expand your professional development, whether you realized it or not. You have to think about what you can add and also what you can learn.  For me it's a great experience to continue my learning so I fully embrace it. 

“Tisha was very open to embrace the mentoring process and programme.  Meeting people for the first time can be a bit awkward. From day one we’ve got on really well, it hasn’t been awkward. For people who've never been mentored before, there's a bit of apprehension in what questions to ask.  We were very clear from the start that it's a safe space, you must be able to be yourself. I feel that both Tisha and I have been very much our true selves throughout this process. And we both learned from each other.”

Story category Student work/achievement