Hong Kong, 31 May 2016
Twenty two year old Ishan Lamba never considered he would mentor someone similar in age when he secured his first job with Macquarie Hong Kong last year.
“Being able to get involved in the community through work was one of the things that led me to Macquarie,” Lamba says.
“As soon as I started my new job, the mentoring program was suggested to me and I thought it was a great opportunity to give back.”
He mentored a young man called Nabeel Shakeel as part of a nine-month mentoring program Macquarie runs in partnership with local non-profit Po Leung Kuk, which connects up to 16 first-year college or university students with two Macquarie staff per mentee.
Monthly mentoring sessions and networking events cover topics such as personal brand, resume writing, interview skills and career progression.
“I’ve given Nabeel advice around progressing through university and also passed on my knowledge about networking,” says Lamba. “Being eager makes a difference and I always tell him that the small things count which he’s taken on board.”
Shakeel was studying an accounting diploma during the mentoring program, but on completion secured a place in a four-year degree program with his local university.
“My mentors helped me in almost all aspects of my life,” says Shakeel.
“They guided me in completing my university application, told me about the process and gave me interview tips. They also shared details about their work experience and university life, which really gave me self-confidence and motivation to do better in my life.”
Along with Shakeel’s other mentors, Lamba also provided a listening ear and guidance on navigating university and early professional life.
With many participants the first in their family to go to college or university, they have limited resources or access to a role model to support them in forging a career path.
In participating in the mentoring program, Lamba reflected on his own opportunities.
“I’ve been in the mentees’ shoes and have asked myself ‘what am I doing with my life?’ The difference is that I have emotional and financial support from my family and community.
“I always know I have someone to turn to for advice and support but the mentees don’t always have that.”
More than 50 students have graduated from the Po Leung Kuk Mentoring Program since the program launched in 2011 and 100 Macquarie staff have been mentors over that time, totalling more than 1,000 volunteering hours.
Image caption: Nabeel Shakeel (second from left) with his mentors, Nitika Gaba and Ishan Lamba.