I have taken a lot away personally from the programme that I can use in my working life

I am proud that Citi gives their employees the opportunity, time and support to get involved in these initiatives in the local community.

Who are you?

My name is Michelle McMullan, I’m Senior Vice President, Anti Money Laundering, Compliance at Citi. I’ve been mentoring Eve Harrison at Belfast Metropolitan College since 2015 and in 2016 I was awarded Mentor of the Year for Northern Ireland. 

Why did you get involved in Career Ready?

Having not taken a conventional education route myself (gaining a place in Queens University but leaving soon after to begin full time work) I wanted to share my experience of how you can be successful in your career with or without holding a university degree.

It was also a good opportunity to work with the students who attend the college right beside my office building.  

What has your role involved?

The most important thing I’ve done with Career Ready has been the interaction I’ve had with Eve.  I have enjoyed introducing her to my other colleagues and seeing how she interacted with them – their feedback about her is beyond positive.  

Why is Career Ready important?

The programme is important because it gives students the opportunity to interact with people who are actually in the roles and doing the work they would aspire to themselves.  The mentees can benefit from the advice and guidance provided by their mentors and experience the workplace themselves on their placements.

For me it was also an important element of my own skills development and I have taken a lot away personally from the programme that I can use in my working life.

Why would you recommend supporting Career Ready to other employers?

It is a really enjoyable process – you will meet new people, share your experiences with your mentee and also learn from them.  Throughout the process you will improve your interpersonal and communication skills without even trying and in the end you will have contributed to your mentee becoming more confident and ready to take the next step in their lives.

How does it feel to be recognised as Mentor of the Year?

I am proud to have won this prize because I was nominated by Eve and I am pleased that she has benefitted from this process.

I am also proud of my employer Citi’s support for both the Career Ready programme and for giving their employees the opportunity, time and support to get involved in these initiatives in the local community. 

What Eve said about Michelle:

Michelle made such a huge impact on me, particularly when preparing me for my internship last summer. She helped me realise that University isn’t the only route to success and really focused on giving me a full taste of what the world of work is like. 

If I hadn’t had a mentor I would be a lot less confident. Michelle is the reason I now feel comfortable talking to people in authority – she was always herself around me and taught me that although someone may have great power and authority, they are still just a person and that I shouldn’t feel intimated.  She is truly a great mentor and will always be a role model for me to look up to.