Waseem Khan (29) lives and works in Leeds and is a manager for chartered accountancy firm, Hentons.
He has always been interested in mentoring and was involved with mentoring at his previous employer, Ernst & Young. Even though he he’s only been with Hentons since October 2014, the firm is very supportive of Waseem’s mentoring and is keen for him to develop his involvement.
Hentons is one of the largest independent firms of Chartered Accountants and Chartered Tax Advisors in Yorkshire with offices in Leeds and Sheffield.
Waseem was recently crowned Yorkshire Mentor of the Year 2015 for his outstanding contribution to Mosaic’s mentoring programmes in the region. Commenting on his award he said:
“It came as a massive surprise and I was really pleased to gain such a great award. I would like to thank all my colleagues who have taken part and the Mosaic North team for putting in all the hours behind the scenes.”
Waseem has been a Mosaic mentor for over four years now and has taken on a mentoring role at Pudsey Grangefield School in Pudsey near Leeds. His mentoring of students has been mainly been working closely with student business teams on the Enterprise Challenge and organising World of Work visits so that pupils can get valuable and realistic experience of the commercial sector. He said:
“I was motivated to become a mentor for a variety of reasons but also because it is something that I feel very passionate about. I also felt it was a great opportunity to share my experiences, to be available to others as a positive role model and help students get an idea of what the working environment is really like.”
Waseem believes the criteria required to make a good mentor is quite simple:
“A good mentor should ideally be someone who appreciates the position they are in and uses this to make a difference.”
Waseem also firmly believes mentoring should be a two way process and that he personally has got a great deal back from his work with young students in the community.
“Mentoring provides so many great experiences for both the mentor and the mentee. For me, I would say the most rewarding part is when I see the students grow in confidence from the first lesson to the last and witnessing them fulfil the potential they have.
“It’s also very pleasing to dispel any misconceptions they have of what it was like to be in the working environment. This can really help to get rid of any negativity towards the idea of working and can spur the students on to give them a real taste for work and business.
“Being positive about what mentoring can achieve makes a huge difference and can have a long lasting impact on young people, often helping them to make up their minds about what they want to do after they leave school, whether that’s getting straight into a career or going on to study further to gain more qualifications.”
Waseem is also keen to promote and build on his mentoring foundations, recommending the Mosaic mentoring programme to others. He said:
“It’s important to spread the word and encourage others to come forward to mentor. As business professionals we have so much to offer and I’m delighted that my employers at Hentons really recognise the value of it and are willing to support it and invest in it from a personnel point of view.
“I can’t recommend the benefits of volunteering with Mosaic enough and I have already introduced my new work colleagues to the Enterprise Challenge and they have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We’ll certainly be getting involved in this excellent initiative when it starts up for the new academic year.
“It would be great to see another Yorkshire winner at the national Enterprise Challenge Final!”
It’s important to Waseem that his employer is so engaged with mentoring. He said:
“Hentons have been very supportive. They have allowed all employees the chance to take part if interested and made meeting rooms and facilities available to hold training for the Mosaic programmes. They really encourage us to take part in initiatives which are related to business and young people which is brilliant.”
Waseem is always positive with the young people he comes into contact with and has a strong but simple message for young people keen to learn from a mentor:
“Don’t be afraid to seek advice and aim high!”