An interview with mentor Laura Collier-Keywood

Routes chats to Laura Collier-Keywood

“It's amazing to be able to be part of someone else's journey in achieving their goals whilst still learning invaluable skills yourself.”

Laura Collier-Keywood is Head of Financial Planning and Analysis at Citizens Advice and a mentor on our Summer 2019 mentoring programme.

Routes: Hi Laura! To start, could you tell us why you signed up to be a mentor with Routes?

Laura: I felt like I had skills and experience which I could share and help other women in achieving their goals. At the same time I was keen to develop my mentoring and leadership skills. I was also interested in the asylum system as it is something you hear a lot about, but I was keen to learn more and understand it from a more personal perspective.

Why do you think your employer sponsored you to become a Routes mentor?

Due to the leadership training and mentoring skills. I think leadership skills are really important and often training gets neglected. Mentoring enables you to work on a lot of different skills including listening, communication, feedback and interpersonal skills. With this course you get to put the skills into practice straight away as well as getting a real sense of purpose and fulfilment of doing something that really has an impact on other people's lives.

How did you feel before you met your mentee?
[I was] quite nervous and apprehensive but excited to meet her… She was really easy to talk to and very open which really put me at ease. [Our first meeting] was really a chance for us to get to know each other a bit better and start setting some goals and expectations.

What is your mentee’s goal?

Her goal is to get a job, specifically within the finance sector as she has the relevant training and qualifications and has worked in this sector previously, but has been out of work for awhile.

What do you most admire about your mentee?

She has such a positive view on the world. Even though she has been through some very difficult times she still remained positive and optimistic. Applying for jobs and going to interviews can be such a draining experience, and whilst she received a number of knock backs she would always remain really positive and viewed it as a learning experience. I'm so glad to be able to say that her persistence paid off and she was recently offered a role which suited her perfectly.

Would you recommend becoming a Routes mentor?

I can't recommend this programme highly enough! It's amazing to be able to be part of someone else's journey in achieving their goals whilst still learning invaluable skills yourself. I have really enjoyed it and found it invaluable.

Applications for our Autumn-Winter programme open on 5th August.