UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


Case study 1

Hello everyone, my name is Francesca Schiavone and I'm a clinical project manager at the MRC Clinical Trials Unit. I've been asked to share my experience, having joined the membership program in 2020.

I don't have any pearls of wisdom, but I would like to share some of the highlights and hopefully encourage some of you to join the program. Finding a mentor is something that I have considered over the years, but I never really quite plucked the courage to find someone. I'm following my promotion to my current role as a clinical project manager. I thought it would be a good idea to find some clarity over my development and perhaps find my leadership style. I wanted to take an honest look at my CV and see how it could be improved, starting with this format. I also wanted to explore how my development needed to be focused, particularly I was new in my role and in my new position.

Finding a mentor is relatively straightforward. I checked the list of mentors in Moodle and identified a potential mentor. I dropped them a quick email to see if they were able to take me on as a mentee and had a social meeting to just introduce each other. All meetings have taken place remotely so far as they started as the pandemic was beginning. I continue to have monthly meetings with my mentor even though our agenda has really evolved since we started working together a year ago.

My mentor is actually based at a different institute, part of the same faculty, the GOS Institute of Child Health. And I think having the experience from someone outside my institute has really helped me finding a fresh outlook to some of the challenges that I was facing. My mentor was incredibly helpful and they helped me identify appropriate training for my leadership skills starting at by looking at a UCL portal, the UCL portal leadership skills. They also helped me to put together 2 applications for two of my direct reports. One was for an accelerated increment application and another one in fact to apply to a leadership program run by UCL and writing this type of applications can be quite daunting for me. My mentor really helped me navigate some of the more tricky writing points and really supported me throughout.

My experience of having a mentor in the last 12 months overall has been really positive and it's giving me the opportunity to have a systematic approach to my professional development and to focus on my training plan and learn new skills, which with tools that are available really via UCL. Such, for example, is that leadership online module. And being mentored has also helped my team as they could benefit from my improved skills. One of my submissions for the accelerated increment was successful and the leadership program application that I put forward for one of my direct reports was also successful. So both members of my team were affected positively and in a positive way.

I hope these quick points can help you understand how mentoring can be beneficial.