Sarah Fowler, a BBC News journalist, explains how her mentor Christopher Wyld, the director of the Foreign Press Association, has helped her make some tough decisions about her career.
The mentorship scheme could not have come at a better time for me as I was trying to make a transition from media analysis of the Arab world at BBC Monitoring to more hands-on broadcast journalism in the newsroom.
The last six months have been paramount and Christopher has helped guide me through some of the most challenging decisions I’ve ever had to face in my career.
As I was about to embark on a six-month stint with the BBC News World Online team, he offered me some very sound advice: “Make your presence known in the newsroom and don’t let people forget you.”
I took this on board, making real efforts to get to know as many people as possible and spread the word about who I am and what I have to offer as a journalist in the newsroom.
More than anything, this was a real confidence-boosting exercise and later helped me to make a tough, cut-throat decision which has ultimately extended my time with the BBC News website.
There are the obvious benefits of having a highly-respected mentor, such as the networking and contacts you make, but this doesn’t even come close to the benefits of having someone who can act as an impartial sounding board and offer you a sense of perspective, some words of wisdom and buy you the occasional pint at the pub!
I’m looking forward to working with Christopher over the next three months and setting some new targets together for the next stage of my career.