In a recent episode of Identify, the weekly insight vlog from Identity, Fay Sharpe, founder of Fast Forward 15 shared an insight on why mentoring is so beneficial and how it can support with long term goals and career development.

Charlie Hepburn, Client Strategy Director at Identity, is a mentor on the Fast Forward 15 programme, and has been working with his mentee since March 2020. Ahead of his recent mentoring session on 25th May, we caught up with him on why this role is so rewarding.

 Charlie, why did you become a mentor?

“It all came about whilst employing placement year Event Management degree students. Their thrust for support, advice, and a desire to better themselves shone through which meant that I always allocated space in my diary to listen, encourage and advise. Consequently, I was asked by both Sussex and Brighton University to join their mentoring programmes which was a natural extension to what I had already been doing. I also realised the difference that having a mentor can make. I didn’t have one starting out in my career and looking back, I am sure that I would have made some better decisions or come to different conclusions if I had of had a mentor.”

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a mentor?

“I enjoy it; it feels good to give something back and to share your experience and knowledge. When you can help someone grow and develop without any personal agenda or expectation, it is liberating. It is also a two-way street, it keeps me connected and helps me gain a new perspective and fresh ideas in order to make better and more informed decisions in my own life.”

What do the mentees get out of it?

“A confident, impartial and unjudgmental opinion, someone that has been there and can help them arrive at the answers (but not give them to them).”

Why should other people consider becoming a mentor?

“Anybody can be a mentor, and at any age. It is about helping someone achieve an aspiration or ambition. To give someone the ability to give themself permission to change, to stop thinking about themselves and start helping themselves is a gift. As a mentor, you can help people change their behaviours, which can change their lives.”

Why support Fast Forward 15?

“Fast Forward 15 is a mentoring initiative for women in the events industry which offers impartial advice and support in planning for career progression, as well as managing personal ambitions. With around 75% of the industry being female, but less than 20% in top level positions, Fast Forward 15 set about doing something about it. Having worked in the hospitality and events space for nearly 20 years, the opportunity to be a part of the solution and influence change was something I felt it was important to be part of.”

To find out about FastForward15 including mentoring opportunities, visit their website or contact us.