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Read about the experience of two mentees on the ARCS Mentorship scheme.

If you are an experienced Reproductive Scientist, particularly in Person Responsible or Quality Manager roles, please consider how you and a mentee may benefit from a mentor-mentee relationship. Just get in touch with Georgina at georginabartlivf@hotmail.com for more details.

Mentee 1

At the beginning of 2021, I was a few months out of the STP, enjoying being a fully-fledged Clinical Embryologist at my new clinic. I did however still have the underlying feeling of imposter syndrome and the need for some guidance/hand holding through the early stages of my career now I had been spat out into the big wide world of embryology! With all these feelings arising in me I jumped at the chance to apply for a mentor through the ARCS mentorship scheme. My first contact with my mentor was not for a few months, during this time I had passed my probation and began to take on additional tasks outside of the clinical work. 

This meant when I first emailed my new mentor I was feeling more confident but had lots more to discuss! In these COVID times, zoom meetings have been how we have ‘met’ and after initial introductions we have discussed how my development is going including ICSI training, taking on organisation of donor eggs and suggestions for leadership development. It has been so useful to have a sounding board, especially as my mentor does not work at my clinic, to discuss issues/queries/worries with a broader perspective and an outsider’s view. Having a mentor has given me so much confidence in my development, where I felt I was maybe behind compared to others, working with my mentor reassured me I was doing fine and they had every faith in my abilities. 

As COVID continued we kept up the zoom meetings on a quarterly basis and have emailed in between if I have needed any extra support. A limitation of mentoring via zoom was always poor connection, we had quite a few moments of awkward silence or talking over each other as zoom played catch up! Despite these we had many positive discussions about both our clinics’ practices and it was great for me to hear as a mentee how a manager also needs someone to discuss things with sometimes! The ongoing support my mentors provides me with, having someone outside of my own team to share my thoughts and feelings with is invaluable. I would encourage others whether you’re a trainee or senior to apply for the ARCS mentor/mentee scheme, I hope that with more experience I will be applying for the other role in the future!

Having a mentor has given me so much confidence in my development, where I felt I was maybe behind compared to others, working with my mentor reassured me I was doing fine and they had every faith in my abilities.

Mentee 2

I have been in touch with my mentor a couple of times so far. I have found it really useful to have someone at a different clinic to talk to about the transition between being a trainee and a qualified embryologist. As well as giving general advice about moving to a new clinic and what is realistic in terms of my progress – not to mention navigating Scottish IVF! I think the mentorship scheme is really beneficial for building a network between different clinics, I like to think we both benefit from sharing different strategies and ideas.

I would thoroughly recommend the scheme to any trainee or newly qualified embryologist, or even someone who wants to broaden their network. I’m really pleased to see that the scheme is open to all ARCS members, I have recommended it to several practitioners I know who want to pursue embryology training.