A mentor’s perspective: Amar M. Bhatti, Solicitor
The Career Development Services Mentoring Programme is an opportunity for students of the University of Bradford to gain information, guidance and knowledge from professionals in a sector they are considering working in. In this interview, one of our mentors, Amar M. Bhatti, a Solicitor, tells us what mentoring involves from his perspective.
So….tell us about you
I am currently a solicitor within a Corporate department at a well respected law firm. I trained at the firm and qualified in 2010. In my spare time I play cricket for Cambing CC and enjoy going to the gym. I have a keen interest in sports cars and travel.
What made you decide to take part in the CDS Mentoring Scheme?
I chose to be a mentor as I appreciate that it can be very difficult to obtain a real insight into commercial legal practice. When I was a student I found that having a mentor allowed me to have a sounding board with regards to the profession. This, in turn, fuelled my passion to enter into the legal profession as a Solicitor working in the corporate commercial sector. Now, by having a practical understanding of how the profession works, it enables me to provide the same to students and to help guide them.
How long have you been involved in the scheme?
I have been mentoring students studying the LLB (Hons) at Bradford University since 2014. I look forward to mentoring many more students in the future as I appreciate that the students coming through are the lifeblood of the profession.
Many students are not sure what mentoring involves. Tell us more about what you do with your mentee once you are introduced
Each mentee has an individual set of goals and at the first meeting I like to ascertain what their career objectives are and try to set out a clear career path for them. I think it is important to understand my mentees as individuals as everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. Once the weaknesses have been identified I think it is important to address them and focus on how to improve them. In relation to the strengths we work out how we can use these to the mentees advantage.
I like for each of my mentees to go away from the scheme with at least a CV and a cover letter that I would be happy to have land on my desk. In relation to the other elements, certainly with my mentees who want to enter corporate commercial practice, I try to broaden their horizons and expose them to understanding the commercial realities within which my clients find themselves. My mentees are always fascinated how the commercial world impacts upon legal practice as this is not something which is really impressed upon them whilst they are studying for their law degrees. By the end of the mentoring scheme my mentees understand that the law does not operate within its own sphere and is intricately linked with the changing world.
What have been the key benefits of you being involved in the scheme?
I have found the scheme to be very well co-ordinated and very useful in inspiring law students to focus their minds with regards to their career aspirations. There are a number of choices that students face when they finish their degree such as whether they go on to further study. The ability to help guide them to fulfil their objectives is something that I find truly rewarding.
Why do you think a University of Bradford student should apply for the mentoring scheme?
Having a mentor allows students to understand that what they are going through and the challenges they face are nothing new as their mentors will have been through the same. Having a mentor who has been through the same allows students to speak to someone who can help usher them to where they want to get to. For any student of thinking of applying for the mentoring scheme my view is that they should as they will gain an insight that they might not otherwise have had access to.
Top tips for those wanting a mentor?
I think students need to have a good idea of what profession or specialism they want to go into. The mentoring scheme will allow the student to know whether the profession is then something they wish to pursue. Therefore my top tips are for students are to be: 1) organised, 2) flexible and 3) diligent.”
If you would like to apply to be mentored at the University of Bradford, you can find out more information here.