Maureen McGuinness works at Her Majesty’s Passport Office in Glasgow as an Operational Excellence Coach where she coaches staff through Organisational Transformation. Prior to this role, Maureen worked as an Interview Officer for more than 10 years. She took some time to tell us about volunteering as a mentor with MCR Pathways and how she fits it into her working week.
How did you hear about the MCR Pathways programme?
Driving to work one day and listening to the local radio I heard MCR Pathways were looking for mentors in Glasgow schools. I decided I would like to be involved as I felt I could pass on the knowledge I have gained through my life and work experiences. I wanted to help a young person through school without telling them what to do or judging them by whatever background they came from.
Why did you choose to become a mentor?
I signed up to become a mentor as it is only ONE HOUR out of seven days in a week – so not a lot of my time! Knowing that I can dedicate that one hour to my mentee and build up a good rapport with them throughout the year is really worthwhile.
What changes have you seen in the young person you mentor?
I’ve noticed her confidence has improved as initially she was very quiet and a little withdrawn. She is really good at art and she would like to be a make-up artist so by explaining to her how her art could contribute to a future career she has taken an interest to research and find out more. She has been looking into working in theatres and other opportunities – not just a beauty salon. During our 50 mins we also laugh and joke as sometimes I see myself in her when I was that age!
“One of the best moments of mentoring my young person was when we said bye before the summer break. I asked “Do you want me to come back next term?” and with a big smile on her face she said YES!”
What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a mentor?
Go for it! Give it a chance, it is one of the best things I have done in my life and I hope to continue mentoring as long as I can.