UCL Campaign


International Women's Day: Celebrating our female Alumni Mentors

8 March 2018

To mark International Women’s Day, UCL has been talking to some of our female Alumni Mentors across the globe about what being a mentor means to them. From New York to Nepal, we hear why mentoring UCL alumni is as important for them as it is for the mentee.

Charlotte Green

Charlotte Green

Charlotte completed an Information Management BSc at UCL and went on to work for Nestle before taking a career break to travel the world. She has been a mentor at UCL throughout her career and says that she is “delighted to be able to offer others help, as others have done for [her].” What motivated you to get involved in the UCL Alumni Online Mentoring Scheme? Did you have a mentor or is it something you wish you had had?

I wanted to give back to UCL, as it laid the foundations for my career success. The mentoring scheme has been a simple way to do that.

I have had mentors in the later stages of my career, which have been so helpful when making decisions on what to do both in my career and in life. I had a mentor when I decided to take the leap to quit my job to explore the world, and again the first time I was experiencing leading a team. I believe it would have been useful to have similar support earlier on in my career as well, so it's good to offer that to UCL students and graduates.

What are the benefits of acting as a mentor?

It is rewarding to be a mentor, to share the experience and expertise you've developed since graduating. It is also a great opportunity to practice your coaching skills outside of your professional role. Finally, it has reconnected me with my department, which has subsequently helped me recruit a UCL graduate on a placement.

How do you think the scheme helps mentees? 

It can be so helpful to have the perspective from someone who has experience working in the area you are considering for a career. With UCL as common ground, it is a short cut to building the relationship. As a mentor you also have an insight into graduating in London and how to navigate the different options and opportunities available to you, which you can offer to mentees.

Corinne Aton

Corinne Atton Square Image

Corinne left UCL in 200 with a BSC in Human Genetics. She went on to gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Law and completed the BVC and worked for a number of years in London. She moved to New York to study for a Master of Laws ad Columbia Law School and has now been a litigator in the city for 10 years. She currently practices complex patent litigation, with a focus on pharmaceuticals, biologics and biotechnology, at Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper and Scinto in New York. 

What motivated you to get involved in the UCL Alumni Online Mentoring Scheme? Did you have a mentor or is it something you wish you had had?

I think having mentors is extremely important.  I am the eldest child in my family and I have four siblings.  My family is very close and we have always helped each other out, but I never had an older sibling to look up to, or learn from.  As I’ve progressed through my career, I very much enjoy taking time to mentor more junior colleagues.  I think all the more so, because I feel that I’ve never been very fortunate to find mentors for myself, and I know that has put me at a significant disadvantage.  I want to redress this imbalance for others, and do my part to help everyone I work with, or who are interested in my time and life learnings (so far!).

What would you say to someone thinking of getting involved in the mentor scheme?

Absolutely, do not hesitate to get involved!  We all need guidance and help, at least at some points in our lives.  Being involved is also very rewarding. 

I loved my years at UCL and I met so many wonderful and inspirational people.  It is great having this connection back to UCL and its community.

How has getting involved in mentoring broadened your own experience and skills?

Being a mentor gives you a different perspective - it reminds you of the position you were in and how you felt when you graduated.  It makes you realize everything you’ve learned, where the pitfalls are, and how you might avoid (or at least minimize) them. I am lucky in my job in that I get to mentor more junior colleagues every day, and to help build happy and successful teams.  That’s an element of my job that I really enjoy. It is also why I enjoy being a UCL mentor. 

Neha Rajan

Neha Rajan Square Image

How has you career developed since graduation? Tell us more about your current role.

When you graduate from university, you often look ahead and have a plan for how the next 5-10 years are going to look. I had one too – but ever since I completed my MSc in 2014, I have been working in a city 4,000 miles away from where I thought I was going to be, in an industry I didn’t even know existed.

I did my Masters in International Public Policy from UCL, straight after completing my Bachelors in a sister subject. I started off in a graduate scheme in New York City, before moving to a tech start-up in London, and I now working in analytics for a programmatic advertising company.

What motivated you to get involved in the UCL Alumni Online Mentoring Scheme? Did you have a mentor or is it something you wish you had had?

I love the UCL community and wanted to give back. During my time at UCL, I had a wonderful support system in the form of professors, fellow students, colleagues, and friends I’ve kept until this day. I am also keen to provide practical guidance - as an international student from the USA, I had to figure out how I was going to get the right to work in the UK. Once I received my Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa, I wanted to share the experience with other students who want to work in the UK but find it challenging because of governmental red tape and navigating the different visa routes.

How do you think the scheme helps mentees?

The UCL Alumni Online Mentoring Scheme is a spectacular program. It’s a wonderful knowledge exchange. Students can use it to get advice, speak to people about careers, make friends, attend events, and learn about unique opportunities. I believe mentees benefit from the community by finding like-minded alumni to collaborate with and starting the journey of mentorship themselves.

To read the full interviews and hear more from our alumni mentors click here.

Join the Alumni Online Community now to access a mentor or become a mentor yourself.  https://uclalumnicommunity.org/