Mentor Jai points David in the right direction

21 September 2017
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IET mentor Jai Chainani CEng MIET

IET mentors play a pivotal role in guiding candidates through the professional registration process. Subsea Controls Engineer Jai Chainani and Principal Instrument Engineer David Horsham talk about their respective experiences as mentor and mentee.

Jai - why put yourself forward as a mentor?


When I was struggling with my application (for professional registration), my mentor gave me the direction I needed to complete it successfully. I wanted to support someone in the same way. I also knew mentoring would give me the skills and experience I'd need to become a team leader, while also raising my profile.


David - why did you seek a mentor?


I'm 55 years old and have been working in the petrochemical industry since I was 16. I'd considered applying for professional registration 10 years ago, but never really needed it because my employer used to accredit me each year to sign off engineering drawings. Having moved on, I now have no accreditation in my own right, I wanted to do something about that, but professional registration was a daunting prospect and I knew I needed help. So I applied to the IET mentoring service and they matched me up with Jai - he works in the same industry as me, which is ideal.


Jai - I understand that David presented quite a challenge?

 I was unsure about how I was going to mentor David. He was older and more senior than me, with 39 years' experience - I had 15. I was open about that from the very first meeting. I told him I'd read his CV and was very happy to endorse him. I said I could add value because I'd been through the registration process, knew the requirements and could motivate him. He said he was happy to go ahead.


David - how are your meetings going?


We always meet on Skype and we also correspond by email. It's all confidential. At our initial meeting Jai advised me to go down the Incorporated Engineer route and we agreed on six months as a realistic timescale. Jai really encouraged me to go for it: he said I had a lot of experience and that it was just a case of getting it all down on the form. We've had three more Skype meetings since then - we discuss how my application is progressing and he's been helping me to find my way around Career Manager and develop an action plan.


Jai - I hear you shared your own application with David?


Yes, I wanted to give him an idea of the level of detail that's needed. All my mentees have found that very valuable. David has all the right experience. He just needs the reassurance that he's moving in the right direction. Each time he fills in a bit of the form, he sends it to me for review and comment. He's really coming on now and is very close to completing his application.


David - would you recommend the mentoring service?


One hundred per cent - Jai has really helped me stay on the right path.


Jai - would you recommend becoming a mentor?


Yes, for sure I would recommend it to others. It can be very rewarding, especially when your mentees call you to let you know that their application was successful!


The IET mentoring service is a 'by members for members' service, providing a range of support and information to members working towards professional registration. We also offer support to young professionals, providing a sounding board for setting career goals, and offering impartial and confidential guidance during a member's early career.


Read more about the IET mentoring service by visiting the mentoring web page, or find out how you can become a mentor on the IET mentor web page.