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Benefits of Mentoring work both ways, according to FINSIA stalwart

by Lewis Panther | 10 Jul 2019

Macquarie Leasing COO Phil Castro reflects on his volunteer role as a Mentor for FINSIA in the third article about the program. Here's the other links for your reference, article one and article two

As an executive who has three decades of experience in financial services he says mentoring is a must for ambitious banking industry professionals.

And he says the benefits go both ways - as he gets a lot of energy from those looking for help with Mentoring.

Q. 1. What brought you to FINSIA and its Mentoring program? And how long have you been doing it? How many people have you mentored?

A. 1. Throughout my career I’ve always enjoyed talking to people coming through the ranks who have asked me about my experience and insights to help them move forward in their careers.  It provided a sense of self satisfaction that maybe I’ve actually achieved something that others are interested in following.  It’s quite humbling.  

I’ve probably been “mentoring” informally for the most part of my career but have been involved in formal mentoring programs for about five years or so.  I couldn’t tell you how many people I’ve mentored as I just see catching up with people and talking as mentoring in effect, and well, that’s been a heap of people!

Q. 2. Did you have a Mentor yourself? If so, what did you get out of it as the piece of advice you would pass on to a younger version of yourself?

A. 2. Whilst mentoring wasn’t formally considered what it is today, I’ve based a lot of my development around working with and learning from people more senior than me and applying what I learned.

A piece of advice I would give my younger self would be to be more considerate of other opinions and peoples perspectives.  Don’t stay rigid with your views and think about why people take the approach they are following rather than what your thoughts are.

Q. 3. Can you give some of the high points of the program, beyond the really great story about Dash? Have you seen some go on to be real high flyers who’ve landed in the C-suite? 

A. 3. After hearing Dash’s story I wanted to learn more about him.  He has a remarkable story about one’s drive to achieve, mental toughness, resilience and hard work.  I really hope he gets an opportunity with someone to further his career.  He wouldn’t let them down.

My experience of working with younger people who have achieved C-suite, they were genuinely good people, first and foremost. 

Q. 4. Have you had any mishaps/issues/nightmares with mentee that we can share as a bit of instruction to others who want to become involved in the program - from either side, as a Mentor and Mentee.

A. 4. Can’t say that I have.  It says a lot about people who seek out mentors that they aren’t above themselves and are keen to listen and learn.  All my mentoring relationships have been fantastic. Just be open minded, be interested, considerate and ask questions.

Q 5. Are there any must-dos and don’ts you think we should highlight for those who are thinking of getting involved.

A. 5. A must do is get into a mentoring relationship whether it be formal or informal.  No better way to learn than to listen to someone who has trod the path before you.  Don’t take a know it all attitude into the relationship as a mentee.  Be open minded and inquisitive....and be grateful.

Q. 6. I’ve seen it written that the industry is crying out for mentors. Will you carry on contributing to the program?

A. 6. I would 100% would love to.  I really enjoy meeting respectful, younger people who are keen to listen to my stories.  Gives me a jolt of energy and purpose.

Q. 7. Are you happy with the system that allows the Mentees to choose you?

A. 7. That’s always the first question I ask....why me??  Sets the scene of what it is they’ve seen in me that can enhance their professional and personal growth.  I then sort of drive the relationship from that basis as it is a good indicator of how they want to shape things or align to.

Interested in mentoring
Could you help a young professional in their career? Find out more about our mentoring options and what they could mean for you by contacting us by email at [email protected].

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