Julie Mangan, Capgemini Company Secretary, discusses her experience of reverse mentoring with Apprentice Software Engineer Aishwarya Kandukuri.
Meeting Aishwarya, one of our apprentice software engineers, was a happy coincidence. After bumping into her mum at Heathrow Airport, we got talking and realised her daughter, Aishwarya, also works at Capgemini on our apprenticeship scheme. It wasn’t long before we’d organised a face-to-face meeting and, soon afterwards, I began mentoring her.
About a year later, I asked Aishwarya if she’d like to mentor me. I’ve worked at Capgemini for years, and wanted a fresh perspective from someone at the very start of their career. The brilliant thing about reverse mentoring is that it flips the traditional programme on its head and encourages non-hierarchical relationships.
Aishwarya’s so different to me in terms of her role and personality. I knew I’d learn a lot from her. I’m lucky that we get along so well – we have a very open, honest relationship and have both benefitted hugely from sharing our experiences with one another. From social media to work-life balance, there’s not a lot we don’t talk about.
I would highly recommend reverse mentoring – it’s brought such diversity to my role. Aishwarya’s been superb in sharing views, challenging my opinions, and fulfilling the role of mentor. I would be the first to champion reverse mentoring within Capgemini.