‘A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.’
James Freeman Clarke
I recently met with a University client and whilst discussing various opportunities moving forward we moved on to the subject of student mentoring and I will be honest, it is not something I had considered before.
Having given it some thought, there are many people I looked to as I progressed through my career, who gave me their time, their wisdom and the benefit of their experience. I now have the opportunity to return the favour and help inspire the next generation of leaders and perhaps encourage some of them to consider the risk management industry as a career of choice.
Now I appreciate we live in a competitive and commercial world and some of you will no doubt be asking what is in it for me? Well, although it is certainly not for financial reward, the opportunity to take a small amount of time out of the diary, to impart advice and to listen to the perspective of someone with different ideas and different ways of thinking is something that both parties will without doubt learn from.
University life is changing at pace and students are no longer just attending lectures, studying and completing examinations. Students are being encouraged to start businesses and what they learn along the way is considered part of the course syllabus………less about just learning the theory, more about putting the theory into practice.
We are talking about a generation who has not known life without the internet, without computers and not the ones that took 3 weeks to load before doing anything useful! A very different perspective on things and ultimately the future of our industry.
Now, I fully appreciate that the needs of business come first, but as leaders, business owners and industry professionals we can all make a real difference if we take an hour out of the diary every now and again to mentor someone starting out in their career and I have no doubt we will all learn something.
Next time you have a spare hour, get in touch with your local University Careers Service and see if you can help to inspire the next generation.