IBMS Mentorship Programme 2021

IBMS Mentorship Programme 2021
1 June 2022
In 2021, 240 mentees benefited from the skills, knowledge and experience of 81 mentors on our IBMS Mentorship Programme

Kavindi Warnakulasooriya credits our mentoring scheme
and the support of her mentor, IBMS Fellow Hedley Glencross, with helping her to secure a job after university.

Kavindi’s mentee story

“I had my placement cancelled due to the pandemic, so I was coming towards the end of my degree at Staffordshire University without much laboratory experience.

I applied for several medical laboratory assistant roles but wasn’t progressing to interviews for any of them. I suspected it might be my CV or covering letter holding me back.

I found out about the mentoring scheme on the IBMS website. I thought it would be a valuable way to get some advice from someone with experience on where I might be going wrong and how I could progress. It was easy to apply, and I chose Hedley Glencross for my mentor as he had lots of experience.

During the pandemic, my university tutors weren’t always accessible, so having Hedley’s support meant a lot. We emailed and he talked me through where I could improve my covering letter and CV. For example, he suggested that I include some volunteering I’d done. He also helped me through the job application process.

Hedley was quick to respond to my queries and his encouragement and input made a big difference. With his support to improve my application, I got a job as a medical laboratory assistant at the Royal Stoke University Hospital in the same month that I graduated.

I have Hedley and the IBMS mentoring scheme to thank for helping me on my career path to becoming a biomedical scientist.”

Hedley’s mentor story

“I’ve taught and trained the next generation of biomedical scientists all my working life. I feel that one of the most important things we can do is to give the benefit of our knowledge, experience and skills to others. I’m currently supporting three people through the IBMS mentoring scheme.

For students like Kavindi coming into the profession, the pandemic has held them back from getting enough hands-on lab experience. I worked with Kavindi to explore all of her skills that would help her stand out from everyone else. I also supported her to write job applications, encouraging her to get across her experience in a concise and meaningful way.

Knowing I’ve helped Kavindi to secure a job is wonderful. Now she has her foot in the door, Kavindi can build up her experience and competencies. If I can help people using the experience and knowledge I’ve gained in my career, it makes everything worthwhile.

I’d encourage others to put themselves forward to be a mentor. You just need enthusiasm for your subject and a desire to recreate that in others. If you give your time to people and light that spark, knowing you’ve helped in a small way and seeing them blossom gives you a huge sense of satisfaction.”

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