By Emma Dale. Posted in Blog

Applications for the 2023/24 Prospect Mentoring Scheme are now open. As we eagerly await applications, we asked some mentoring duos from the previous years to share their advice on how to create a successful mentoring partnership and how they benefited from the programme.

Mentoring Partnership: Rachel Lin (mentor) and Joana Cheong (mentee)

Rachel Lin, Head of Communications at HSBC (Singapore and Southeast Asia) mentored Joana Cheong, Assistant Investor Relations Manager at TDCX in Singapore. Joana impressed Rachel at the first meeting with her maturity and level-headedness. Whereas Joana saw in Rachel someone with a genuine desire to get to know her and share a wealth of experience.

Why apply to the mentoring programme?

As a communications professional in the early stages of her career, Joana recognised the importance of seeking guidance and insights from an experienced industry leader to help navigate challenges and accelerate professional growth. She said, “I was motivated to apply because I believed that having a mentor would enhance my skills, expand my network, and provide me with a broader perspective on the field of public relations.”

From her side, Rachel was motivated to become a mentor due to her own professional journey. Her own career wasn’t planned and although she was lucky to meet some good mentors along the way, she believes that if she had someone ask her the tough questions, she would have pursued her goals earlier. “I was keen to participate in the mentoring programme to help others get there sooner,” said Rachel.

What about the mentorship worked?

Joana attributed the success of the mentorship to the trusted relationship that was established with her mentor. “Rachel’s genuine interest in my development and her willingness to share her knowledge and experiences created a strong foundation of trust and rapport. She took the time to understand my goals, challenges, and aspirations, and tailored her guidance accordingly,” said Joana.

This connection, along with their regular schedule of communication, created an environment where Joana felt comfortable asking questions, seeking feedback, and discussing both professional and personal matters.

Rachel said, “I learnt as much from her as she did from me. Mentoring Joana helped me reflect on my own career and my aspirations.”

What did you take away from the mentorship?

Throughout the programme, Joana fulfilled many of her initial goals including to gain a broader perspective on the public relations industry, develop a more strategic approach to work and career, enhance understanding of stakeholder management and improve overall communication strategies.

“On a personal level, this mentorship experience has boosted my confidence and self-belief,” said Joana. “Rachel’s encouragement and validation of my abilities have given me the courage to take on more challenging projects, step out of my comfort zone, and seek out more value-add, leadership opportunities within my organisation.”

Rachel shared how she benefitted from the programme as a mentor. “It gave me insights on the motivations and aspirations of a younger generation who will be the leaders of tomorrow,” she reflected.

Advice for future participants in the Prospect Mentoring Scheme

If you’re considering applying for the 2023/24 Prospect Mentoring Scheme, our successful duo has some advice.

“Go in with an open mind and heart,” said Rachel. “This is an experience that will help both parties grow.”

“Approach the mentoring relationship with an open mind and a willingness to learn,” said Joana. “Be receptive to feedback, different perspectives, and new ideas. And remember to show appreciation for your mentor’s time, guidance, and support.”

Applications are now open for the six-month programme which runs from November 2023 until April 2024. Apply now to experience the benefits of being mentored by an industry-leader for yourself.