Sunday, 25 April 2010

Feedback from last year: the mentors

My sincere thanks to last year's mentors. I am very grateful for the time and thought that they put into their meetings with the students (mentees) whether this was face to face, via email, over a coffeee or -- in some cases -- in their offices. As I mentioned in my first post, the SYP is centred on fellowship and voluntary support: they clearly demonstrated these values with their involvement, whichever method they used to communicate.

The mentors included:

Genevieve Pegg (Editor, Orion);
Geoff Duffield (Sales Director, Pan Macmillan);
Christoph Chesher (Global Sales Director, T&F);
Beth Lewis (Website manager, T&F);
Ruth Logan (Rights Director, Bloomsbury);
Iain MacGregor (Associate Publisher, Mainstream);
Zoe Kruze (Senior Developmental Editor, Elsevier);
Ken Barlow (Editor, Zed Books);
and Claire Morrison (Marketing Executive, Random House).

Here are a selection of comments I received from the mentors' perspective:

'I realized that she just needed someone with more experience in publishing to listen to hear and give advice. We got on really well and will continue to be in contact.'

'We corresponded initially via email, and then had a face-to-face just before Xmas in London. We were in touch fairly regularly on email for a good 3-4 months, but then as my workload increased post-Xmas, I could manage to talk to her roughly once a month.'

'I think the scheme is helpful to both parties, as it puts a career-orientated/ upper-management level mentor in touch with how it feels to starting out in the industry again with a fresh-faced beginner. I did feel I was more empathetic to the junior staff who work with me here at [publisher], as you realize just how hard it is at the beginning.'

'I think I was matched with someone who had the same desire to get into publishing when I was of a similar age. She had tremendous enthusiasm and commitment to get her toe in the door of lots of publishing houses. One needs that commitment to get a foothold in this business right now, so I am sure she will succeed eventually.'

'We did everything by email as she was in London and myself in Oxford. I did offer to phone her or her to phone me anytime but I think she felt more comfortable via email. It would have been nice to have a face to face meeting right at the beginning to try and forge the relationship, but again location was an issue.'

'It would be nice to mentor someone that was closer so a face to face meeting would have been more possible. But I completely understand it’s not always possible, and it would be a shame to miss a good match due to this.'

'Met with my mentee twice face to face having arranged to meet via email, which worked out fine. Would have been happy to have met a couple more times if necessary or answer questions by email.'

'Giving advice on [student's name] CV and then seeing that it had been useful and she had followed up on it. It was really nice to feel that what help I could give was actually useful (I hope anyway!).'

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