Mentee advice from Niall McDonald

niall mcdonald picI work as a Writer/Producer for ‘The World Right Now’ on CNN International.

My journalism career in the last year has been anything but conventional.

I moved jobs twice during my time in the mentor scheme, firstly from Sky News to the Associated Press, then from AP to CNN International.

When opportunities like that arise there are always many questions to answer. Am I making the right move? What are the pros and cons? I had built up a strong rapport with my mentor, Nigel Charters, and throughout he was giving me sound, impartial advice as I made career-changing decisions – something that I found invaluable.

That is the one bit of advice that I would give to anyone starting out on the scheme this year – build up a good working relationship with your mentor. You have an amazing opportunity to have the ear of someone high up in the business, something that doesn’t happen very often. They are in it to benefit you so make the most of it.

If you get on the scheme have a good hard think about what you want out of it. Is it confidence? A Promotion? A new challenge? I had quite a clear plan when I went in to meet my mentor, and that set the basis for the mentoring relationship.

Ultimately, if you get on the scheme, enjoy it. The contacts you will make, both with mentors and mentees, will be extremely useful as you further your career.

Niall McDonald is a 2014 mentee.