The CIC 2050 Group together with Macdonald & Company held the first in a proposed series of speed mentoring event in 2016 on Thursday 17 March, supported by Great Portland Estates (GPE), in its Oxford House premises, which overlooks GPE’s Rathbone Place and 73/89 Oxford Street developments, opposite the Crossrail station development for Tottenham Court Road.
Nicholas Carman, Director, Macdonald & Company stated; “Like all involved in the construction and property industry, Macdonald & Company has a vested interest in nurturing the next generation. In partnership with the Construction Industry Council, we saw an opportunity to connect leading lights in architecture, construction, development, planning and sustainability with ambitious young professionals keen to make the step up. These two peer groups rarely mix. The ‘speed mentoring’ event provided an open forum where mentors, who are often seen as out of reach for the majority of the industry, were all too happy to share their experiences and some of the mistakes they had made.”
During the course of the evening 26 mentees spent approximately 15 minutes with each of their pre-assigned three senior industry mentors, who answered their questions about the industry, shared and reflected on challenges being experienced, or advised on career path development.
Following these sessions, mentees and mentors were invited to mix and network.
All agreed that the aims of the event, which are to provide people in the early stages of their career with the opportunity to learn from those who have knowledge and experience, were fulfilled and all were enthusiastic in their praise:
Head of Construction for the Cabinet Office David Hancock said of his experience mentoring: "I found it really rewarding. It’s good to see a lot of young people who are really enthused about the industry and who want some direction. I find that it’s really good to meet these young people and if it means they stay in our industry, it’s an important thing to do.It was a very good event and very well organised."
Joanne Axon, Development Director for Sellar Property Group said: "The speed mentoring event was a great opportunity to meet the young talent and future of our industry. My personal belief is that it is our responsibility to give back and support future talent. It was a pleasure to ‘do my bit’ in sharing my experiences and encouraging young people to consider and to take a structured approach to maximising their potential within their career path."
Mentees said of the event: "I met lots of key people and they answered many key questions I had. I made a lot of good contacts for the future and I would definitely do it again."
"I think it’s a really good thing to do; to get young graduates and people who want to move forward in the industry together with people with experience; it has been very rewarding. I’ve certainly got a lot out of it."
Mentors included: Joanna Axon (Sellar Property Group); Ben Bolgar (Princes Foundation for Sustainable Communities); Stefan Borowik & John Elliott (Gardiner & Theobald) James Burrage & Mat Byrd (Great Portland Estates); Nick Carmen (Macdonald & Company); Tim Chapman (ARUP); Janine Cole (Great Portland Estates); Trudi Elliott (RTPI); Sean Gavin (Berkley Group); Yair Ginor (Lipton Rogers); David Hancock (Cabinet Office); Helen Hare & George Parker (Great Portland Estates); Peter Moore (Macdonald & Company); James Pellatt & Matthew Turner (Great Portland Estates); Matt Perry (Land Securities); Guy Rudd (Blackstone); Alastair Smart (Sellar Design & Development); Matt Townend (Battersea Power Station); Philip Wade (First Base); Jon Weston (Ballymore Group); Miles Wilkinson (Great Portland Estates) & Nick Williams (Pocket London).
The second event in this series will take place in June 2016, mentees can register their interest about being involved here.