Mentoring Makes a Difference

At Major, Lindsey & Africa, mentoring is an important part of our culture. We strategically pair people together based on their goals and experiences in hopes of making matches that will be mutually beneficial to the mentee and mentor. Here are a few that have made distance and unusual circumstances work for them.

Andrea Bricca (mentor) – Kate Mullen (mentee)

What are the benefits to working with a mentor? Kate: My mentor Andrea has provided support, encouragement and advice that has helped me and continues to help me navigate a new career path in recruiting. She provides wisdom about the challenges of recruiting that comes from her direct experience and knowledge of the industry and MLA. She is someone who is always cheering me on when I have some success, and she helps put the disappointments of this work into perspective.

What does being a mentor mean to you?

Andrea: Being is a mentor to Kate means I have a chance to give back in a career that has sustained me for a couple of decades now, and it provides an opportunity to help her grow her career as a search consultant.

What inspired you to seek out a mentor?

Kate: I know that anyone who is successful or wants to be successful has mentors throughout their career. You are never too old (or too successful) to benefit from a mentor.

How are you hoping to help your mentee grow in their career?

Andrea: I hope I can help Kate avoid some pitfalls so her learning curve moves quickly and help her identify and use her strengths so she is successful and happy with her career choice at MLA.

Please share a story of success that resulted from your work with your mentor.

Kate: Getting my first contract for a General Counsel search during COVID was due in large part to Andrea’s continued encouragement and guidance. She held me accountable to make the tough calls to seek new business with clients we’ve never worked with before. We are working on this search together and I couldn’t be more excited.

What have you learned from your mentee?

Andrea: Kate has an amazingly positive attitude that is contagious so that has helped me stay positive during these currently challenging times.

 

Holly Buchanan (mentor) – Amy Shultz (mentee)

What are the benefits to working with a mentor?

Amy: To me, a huge benefit of working with a mentor is having someone who encourages and supports me. Whether we’re celebrating a big win I had or she’s coaching me through a bad day, I always appreciate my conversations with Holly. She also encourages me to strive for more – more exposure to things I’m interested in, speaking up when I have something to say or pushing back when I disagree.

What does being a mentor mean to you?

Holly: I believe that trust, guidance and support are the most important aspects of being a mentor. When Amy and I were first paired together, she was a new employee. My initial goal was to help her navigate the nuances that make MLA/AP different than the other Allegis operating companies with which she had worked. I wanted to help her establish contacts throughout the company, help her build relationships, and provide guidance, motivation and support to her. Most importantly, I wanted her to know she could trust me to discuss anything that was on her mind.

What inspired you to seek out a mentor?

Amy: The email about MLA’s mentor program was sent out when I was still fairly new to the company. Initially I thought it would be a good way to get to know another colleague and hopefully more about the business. At the time, I didn’t realize how valuable this relationship would become to me. I go to Holly with everything – from business questions to personal challenges – and she never fails to support me. Sometimes I’m seeking advice and other times I just want someone to listen to me – regardless, she always seems to know what I need!

How are you hoping to help your mentee grow in their career?

Holly: My focus with Amy has been helping her to find her own voice, encouraging her to put herself out there and gain exposure within the company, to advocate for her own needs, and to build courage and confidence to face difficult situations. She has been extremely receptive to mentoring, and her growth has been inspiring!

Please share a story of success that resulted from your work with your mentor.

Amy: Holly has helped me prepare for difficult conversations that I’ve had to have with colleagues. She never forces her opinions on me or tells me what to do; we discuss different ways the conversation could be handled, and ultimately, she tells me I have to do what I feel is right. I appreciate having someone who I feel I can go to with sensitive topics/questions and knowing that she always has my best interests at heart. I can’t say enough about how wonderful of a mentor Holly has been over the past year!

What have you learned from your mentee?

Holly: Amy is driven and ambitious and has a bright future ahead of her! It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with her. She inspires me to bring my very best to work and to stay in the game even when projects seem overwhelming. Being a part of the mentoring program is one more reason why I love this company!

 

Laurie Lebrun (mentor) – Ann-Marie Goodbody (mentee)

What are the benefits to working with a mentor?

Ann-Marie: As someone who was new to MLA and new to recruitment in the strangest and most challenging year ever, it has been invaluable to have my catch-ups with Laurie. The fact that you can speak so openly about what you are experiencing with no judgment means the world. Laurie has helped me navigate some challenges and paint a broader picture about life as a recruiter. We’ve shared some highs and some lows, but knowing she is there and will listen is very much appreciated. And as a seasoned recruiter herself, there isn’t much Laure hasn’t seen, so I truly appreciate her insights and value her opinions.

What does being a mentor mean to you?

Laurie: Being a mentor is something near and dear to my heart, as I believe recruiting in its best form is similar to a mentorship relationship. I was also shaped as a recruiter by my early mentors at MLA and really enjoy the opportunity to try to share with newer recruiters what I learned from MLA icons (Sheri Michaels, Bob Graff and countless others) as well as what I have learned over the past 14 years of my career.

What inspired you to seek out a mentor?

Ann-Marie: I’ve always had mentors in my professional life and have mentored myself. I felt it was especially important as I embarked on this significant change in career path that I had someone in my corner with whom I could raise anything, no holds barred. I discussed it with Brent Harris (my boss) at the beginning, and it was his idea to match me with Laurie, which has been terrific. We’ve laughed, I’ve cried—it’s been great.

How are you hoping to help your mentee grow in their career?

Laurie: Being in a mentoring relationship with Ann-Marie has been fascinating because she is incredibly knowledgeable about the legal industry and connected to key players at firms from her prior career. I am hoping to impart some tips that I have learned that will perhaps make her job easier. These range from navigating the waters of Major, Lindsey & Africa to offering practical suggestions that might help her initial phone calls with candidates to be more successful. Having to contend with COVID during her first year on the job has made it infinitely more difficult, but Ann-Marie has managed to persevere and achieve some great results. Having worked alone in Tokyo when I started at MLA, I could really relate to Ann-Marie’s isolation from the team while working from home. This helped us to form a mentoring bond even though we are in entirely different markets and I hope that this mentoring relationship will continue in the years ahead. One of my main goals as a mentor is to be completely honest and open to discussing any topic that comes up in a non-judgmental way – being an ocean apart can actually facilitate frank discussion and I think makes perfect sense when pairing mentors with mentees.

Please share a story of success that resulted from your work with your mentor.

Ann-Marie: I think one of the successes of speaking with Laurie was in the summer. The pandemic was raging, we were all working from home, I was juggling home duties whilst desperately trying to get placements and then literally everything fell over. Every candidate withdrew or got rejected, law firms pulled away and I was left with a net score of zero in the pipeline. I called Laurie and explained my panic. Maybe I shouldn’t even be a recruiter, maybe I’m no good. She explained that this was so totally normal and all in the cycle of being a recruiter. She shared her own downs with me and how she got going again and reminded me of what the highs can be like. It was a great lesson, and a week later, things picked up. Six weeks later, I made my first placement!

What have you learned from your mentee?

Laurie: So much! The mentoring relationship has been truly mutually beneficial. I think sometimes after one has done this job for a long time, you start to lose the energy, drive, cold-calling intensity and marketing fervor of a new recruiter. Anne-Marie’s focus and excitement are contagious and has energized me to reach out to more people and examine my own marketing approach. Although this is outside of our mentoring relationship, I am also a lucky beneficiary of Ann-Marie’s copious notes that she shares with the global team after each of her client discussions.

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