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Mentoring at Haileybury: Budding Engineer Propelled by Aerospace Mentor

Whilst on an industrial placement at Airbus Defence and Space, Mechanical Engineering student and Old Haileyburian, George Amos (Thomason, 2019) was looking to better understand his career trajectory. That’s when he turned to Haileybury Leaders mentoring programme. Matched with Airbus Defence and Space expert Dr. Markos Trichas, George soon gained helpful perspective and personal clarity. 

We caught up with both mentee and mentor towards the end of their year-long partnership. Read on to hear their perspectives on their mentorship experiences.

Why did you decide to apply for the Haileybury Leaders programme?

GA: I was just starting my placement and feeling a bit lost when I got the email about the Haileybury Leaders programme. It sounded like something that might be useful. I had been quite narrowly focused on what I was doing and was keen to get a different perspective on the defence and engineering sector. I wanted to see more broadly where my career could progress. 

Was the experience what you expected?

GA: I think what ended up happening was quite different to what I had expected. It enabled me to really make the most of my placement and approach my final year at university with a clear progression track into the industry that I want to work in. 

How do you feel you’ve benefited from having Markos as a mentor?

GA: Broadly speaking, Markos has given me more confidence in the choices I have made up to this point and has given me additional insights into academic opportunities within industry. For example, there are possibilities to conduct academic research within the defence industry that can potentially lead to sponsored PhDs.

More narrowly speaking, having Markos as a mentor has provided guidance for my final year of studies, including choosing optimal modules and master’s project. I now have a much clearer vision about my career after university, allowing me to tailor my final year to suit my aspirations.

Why do you think having a mentor is important?

GA: I think, particularly for OHs who are coming out of university, you are very much coming off the end of an education conveyor belt. Whilst you’re at school, you choose your GCSEs from a list and then you pick your A-Levels, which determine which university courses you can apply for.  However, once you come out of university, things become a lot less fixed, with so many career paths available, many of which you may not even be aware of. You’re not going to find these opportunities just by browsing LinkedIn or Indeed. Having a mentor, someone who’s built a career, knows their industry and has their own network, is incredibly useful. Based on their feedback and guidance, you can start to see through the fog and form a clearer pathway to a career that suits you.

[The Haileybury Leaders Programme] enabled me to really make the most of my placement and approach my final year at university with a clear progression track into the industry that I want to work in. – George Amos (Thomason, 2019)

What advice would you give to alumni considering applying to the programme?

GA: I would say, don’t always seek out a mentor who works in the area that you think you’re going to be working in. Try to learn as much new information as you can from your mentor and use this as an opportunity to speak to someone with a breadth of experience in areas that you may not have previously considered. Don’t pigeonhole yourself!

Markos, what made you decide to become a mentor on the Haileybury Leaders programme? 

MT: I saw it as an excellent opportunity to be part and support the fantastic Haileybury community by sharing my personal experience and knowledge in assisting young Haileyburians. Being involved and helping the success and the continuation of the programme meant that I would be part of a Haileybury legacy that could significantly benefit future alumni.

What do you enjoy most about mentoring?

MT: Interacting with my mentee George, I was able to appreciate first hand the excellent values, work ethic and confidence that Haileybury instilled into him. This filled me with pride being part of our school. Working with such a bright and mature young person helped me gain new perspectives and fresh ideas that are valuable both as an employer but also as a parent.

Why do you think mentoring is important?

MT: Mentoring brings significant value to both mentors and mentees. It helps mentors with the chance to further develop their people skills, helps you get a better grasp of the issues young people face hence helps you understand and develop better young people at your own working environment. And finally it helps you grow as a person and be more open to new perspectives.

Mentoring helps mentees have a vision and a plan on how to achieve it, become more confident, ask the right questions, be honest with themselves and their employers, be open to provide and receive feedback and use it to their benefit.

Tell me about your partnership with your mentee. Do you think it has been a good match?

MT: My partnership with George was in one word, ‘perfect’. And this was made possible by the fantastic work that Marika and [the Development Department] did in partnering us together.

What advice would you give to others thinking about joining the programme as mentors?

MT: I would strongly encourage people to participate in this programme. Be part of this great community and help guide young Haileyburians through the beginning of their career paths by sharing your extensive knowledge, experience and success. This is a programme that will support future generations of alumni. 

What do you think are the most important qualities to have as a mentor?

MT: Have empathy, be open minded, be enthusiastic, actively listen to your mentee and be honest with them.

The application period for the 2024 cycle of The Haileybury Leaders programme is now closed. If you are an OH and would like to join the waitlist or express interest for next year, please click here

If you would like to learn more about the Haileybury Leaders Programme and how you can get involved, please email Philanthropy Manager, Marika Ison: m.ison@haileybury.com.