“The more support I’m given here, the more it makes me want to support others” by Ollie Horner
Ollie Horner, 22, from South London, started his two-year Graduate Trainee programme in October 2018 after completing his BSc in Real Estate from the University of Reading. He talks about the benefits of having a mentor (or two) at work.
"After graduating only a few months before and starting straight away on the trainee programme, arriving on my first day at Countryside HQ was a bit daunting. But my fears were soon eased when we were appointed two mentors – a senior mentor and a graduate mentor.
Having two people guiding me at Countryside means I’ve always got someone to turn to no matter how big or small an issue.
I couldn’t imagine that when I first joined we would have connections and such close contact with senior staff who are so dedicated to enhancing our knowledge and understanding of Countryside, our roles and the wider industry.
My assigned senior mentor Dan made me feel settled very quickly. It’s nice to know there is someone you can go to with anything. Dan sits down with me regularly to review my progress and achievements and to see if there’s anything that can be improved. On the other hand, the graduate mentor catch ups are more informal and often over lunch. They act as a guide and will look after us throughout the rotations during the programme.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Countryside’s mentorship programme is designed to support individual needs. It identifies a suitable mentor for each graduate based on where they want to be after completing the scheme.
Most importantly, the programme makes me feel truly looked after and cared for. This has helped my confidence, making me far more productive. I’m always happy in my work environment and my mentors play a huge part in this.
I’ll always remember the time Dan took the trouble to make sure I received an invitation to the end-of-financial-year drinks, despite the fact I had only been with Countryside for less than two weeks. That evening really sealed the deal in making sure I felt a sense of belonging at Countryside and it was a bonus to network and meet so many new faces.
The more support I’m given here, the more it makes me want to support others and I am already excited by the opportunity to nurture a new graduate through the ropes at Countryside following the next graduate intake in October."