Justin Onuekwusi (BSc Economics 2000-2003, Head of Retail Multi-Asset Funds, Legal & General Investment Management) shares his top five tips on mentoring
- Try and define your aims and goals as clearly as possible. I know this can be hard no matter where you are in your career, but having a good idea of what you want to achieve is a really important first step, and can help your mentor understand how to guide you. Remember that you can always change and adjust your goals accordingly but having something clear cut in the first place will be a huge help.
- Relationships are everything! Yes hard work and talent matter but there are so many other things that are vital for your success. A huge one is relationships. You should constantly work on your relationships, and make sure that they are in good shape as so often having someone support or advocate for you can make a big difference in your professional career. This is especially true when it comes to mentors or mentees. Make sure you are communicating well with each other because this should be a lifelong relationship that will help you continually learn and grow
- Learn to listen. Whether you are a mentor or mentee listening is key. Sometimes we can all be guilty of waiting for our turn to speak rather than really listening. However, when we actually stop and take in what others are telling us (be they a junior or senior colleagues) we can learn something new. I know I always do!
- Always lead with empathy. You might find yourself working with a mentor or mentee that comes from a very different background to you and has had different experiences. That's why working hard to understand where they are coming from and truly empathising with them is so important. Yes you may seem different on the surface but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t able to provide one another with interesting insight and perspective.
- Find someone who will challenge you. How often have you really progressed or moved forward when you’ve simply stayed within your comfort zone? Yes your mentor should listen and be empathetic towards you, but they should also push you and encourage you to take those all important steps forward on your personal and professional journey. I know it sounds like a cliche but very few good things come easily. You have to be prepared to challenge yourself.
You can sign up as a mentor on our alumni platform Warwickgrad to offer your insights as a mentor to fellow alumni, or to benefit from mentoring yourself.
About Justin Onuekwusi
Head of Retail Multi-Asset Funds, Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM)
Justin is Head of Retail Multi-Asset Funds at LGIM and a member of the Asset Allocation team which manages over £50 billion for pension schemes and savers throughout the world. He co-chairs the Legal & General Inclusion Team (LEGIT). Externally, Justin is an adviser to the board of City Hive Ltd, which focuses on driving diversity initiatives throughout the asset management industry. In addition, he sits on the ethnicity workstream of the industry-wide Diversity Project and is a co-founder of the movement #talkaboutblack, which focuses on creating more black senior leaders in the asset management industry and beyond as well as addressing the taboo that surrounds conversations about ethnicity. Last year, Justin was awarded the honour of the Freedom of the City of London, due to his work within diversity and inclusion.