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"Me & My Mentor" - Daily Telegraph, October 27, 2007

Citigroup head of production management Julian Cappe was looking for some objective career guidance when he joined the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce mentoring program. He was mentored by IBM Systems and Technology group vice-president Mark Latchford.  Article by Henry Budd.

"He became more realistic but retained youthful optimism."

Julian and I met met every six weeks to work things through and we have kept in contact over the past 15 months since the program ended.

There are seminar and workshop activities that the AICC runs for the mentees. The mentors get together three times a year to talk about issues that arise and how to deal with them. Part of the cycle is to set the expectation that this is a mentoring program rather than a coaching program or an enablement program.

Julian was an excellent mentee: articulate about the challenges he was facing. We prioritised issues for counselling and which ones were out of scope.

He became more realistic about career timelines and aspirations -- maturing fast, yet retaining his youthful optimism.

The value the mentors get out of it is twofold. It helps us hone our mentoring skills. Working with someone from outside your organisation helps you test your skills generally. I find mentoring professionally broadening. Secondly, you learn more about industries and organisations that you wouldn't normally touch in your day job.  - Mark Latchford

"He understood my issues and his advice was always pertinent."

At a key juncture in my career I was looking for someone who could provide advice without a vested interest in the outcome. I have mentors in my organisation, but I was looking for an outsider's perspective and objectivity.

We met every six to eight weeks over breakfast and spent time discussing career development and issues such as how to maintain an effective work/life balance.

When I signed up I asked that my mentor be a senior executive from a large corporation. I was lucky to be matched to Mark, whose organisation is similar to mine, although they are in different industries.

I signed up hoping to discuss career development issues I was facing and to benefit from general advice from an experienced mentor and executive. I was able to talk through those issues and decide how to approach them. It helped me to resolve decisions about my next step.

Mark was helpful. He was interested in helping my development, was able to understand my issues. His advice was always pertinent. He was a genuinely nice guy who I enjoyed meeting for breakfast.  - Julian Cappe


"Me & My Mentor" - Daily Telegraph, October 27, 2007