Meet the Mentee
Patsy Kelly is a Senior Manager in the Internal Audit Department of US company, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and is also a Career Connect mentee based outside the UK.
Professional Development Editor, Alex Burden, catches up with Patsy on how she was introduced to mentoring, and her initial thoughts on the programme.
Patsy qualified as a CA in 2006 with PwC in Glasgow, before moving to America to work with Thermo, a company that is “committed to serving science and enabling customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer.” She currently oversees a team of six auditors performing financial audits, including SOX within Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
She believes that virtual mentoring has the capacity to offer greater insights as well as the opportunity to tap into new experiences, and joined Career Connect with that in mind.
Patsy was seeking objective advice from an outside party and began discussions with her current mentor in January 2015. Patsy saw her role in the relationship as that of someone who would offer topics for discussion and be actively engaged with the conversation.
I wanted to discuss my experiences with someone from a different background; with the aim that they would be able to offer a refreshing insight into topics we discussed - Patsy Kelly
“I wanted to talk to someone who was external to my employer and to me, to a certain extent, to discuss overall career development in a safe and non-judgemental environment,” she explains. “[I had] never participated before. I was slightly dubious as to whether it would work given the no face-to-face interaction, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised!”
Patsy was seeking a fresh perspective on her role, and where she could take it, so made the decision to find a mentor working in a different sector. “I didn’t want my mentor to work in Audit (External or Internal) as I wanted to discuss my experiences with someone from a different background; with the aim that they would be able to offer a refreshing insight into topics we discussed.
“I did however want to have something in common with my mentor; one of reasons I went with my current mentor was that he lives and works in New York, and I previously spent two years working in the city.”
Patsy has discovered many advantages from the mentee-mentor relationship, and discovered that she often leaves discussions feeling “refreshed and invigorated” and keen to start on her follow-up actions.
“I view the time I spend with my mentor as ‘me’ time, as it gives me an opportunity to step away from the daily tasks and think about my development with someone whose opinion I value,” she explains. “I have benefited from the process as my mentor has given me advice on task prioritization and people management, and I’ve put the various suggestions he has made into action, which has aided my performance.”
The unique strengths of Career Connect are that it has Access, Breadth and Choice:
- The programme is open to access by any ICAS member and is offered by CAs for CAs
- Its breadth is beyond organisation structures and can complement in-house programmes
- It provides choice for mentees to select the most appropriate mentor rather than just being matched with one.