MentorSET Case Studies

Sasha

Sasha Gallagher talks about how mentoring helped in her quest for an interesting career

Sasha Gallagher is a chartered mechanical engineer who was looking for a varied and interesting career with flexibility. She had worked in the automotive sector for 6 years following her degree and then moved to become a project engineer in a small company supplying sophisticated mechanical connectors to the oil and gas industry. After 5 years in this company, she had reached a point where she felt that she wasn't making the most of her engineering skills, wasn't learning anything new.

In her spare time, Sasha had been trying to set up a complementary therapies business. "I wanted a better way of combining an engineering career with the therapies, as I loved doing both," says Sasha.

Sasha already knew the benefits of mentoring, "Since university, I had had a couple of unofficial mentors through the Women's Engineering Society (WES) but I could not think of anyone I knew that could help me this time." So Sasha turned to MentorSET for help and was very pleased when she heard the name of the suggested mentor. "I had heard my mentor speak at a conference and appeared knowledgeable, approachable and above all, someone who would be fun to work with." Her mentor, Diane, was everything that she hoped she would be and they got on well together.

Sasha found her MentorSET mentor's support invaluable. She was able to tap her knowledge as a business owner and consultant. Diane set tasks such as to draw a mind map of potential jobs and to go through newspapers. Sasha diligently did the homework and sent monthly reports to her mentor detailing the progress made and requesting a phone call when necessary. The biggest benefit was having someone who would listen as Sasha talked through her thoughts and then guided her on where to look for answers. "Whenever I thanked Diane after meetings, she always said that it was me that had done the work, she had just been there," says Sasha.

With her mentors help, Sasha identified a new career path and obtained her ideal position for this stage in her career. Sasha now works as an engineering surveyor for Lloyds Register. She is based from home visiting different companies every day. It is a challenging role which provides both variety and some flexibility. "I am constantly learning new things, and have been assured by the senior surveyors that this never stops," she says. "This would definitely not have happened without my mentor."

Despite the time consuming steep learning curve of her new position, Sasha still occasionally practises her complementary therapies and has set it up as a proper business with help from her mentor. She has now completed the goal that she had when initially contacting Mentorset and has become a MentorSET mentor supporting others.

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