Kelly Staunton MIH has already achieved a great deal in her career.
She was the winner of the London Aspiring Managers Award in 2019 after impressing the expert panel of judges for her leadership skills. Kelly plays an important role in our Mentor Me scheme and with the spotlight very much on mentoring this month, we’ve been delving deeper into the work she does to support her mentee.
Why did you decide to get involved in Mentor Me?
I have always been an active mentor within the international hospitality industry from working in Guangzhou China to Nashville USA. I have been an ambassador supporting entry level members of staff, assisting with employee development, and mentoring people is something I have had a strong passion for. I decided to get involved in Mentor Me for the Institute of Hospitality as I wanted to share my knowledge and experiences of working within the industry, both locally and internationally.
Further to this, I got involved in Mentor Me as I already have experience of being a Graduate Manager working for Marriott International, and BA (Hons) International Hospitality Management and LLM (Master of Laws) International Business Law degrees. This gives me an excellent scope to be able to relate and mentor students studying hospitality at degree level, and associates of the Institute of Hospitality.
What have you enjoyed most about being a mentor?
I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the person I have mentored achieve and learn new skills, build confidence and develop an array of attributes in their job role. I have enjoyed Mentor Me as it has focused on the mentee’s career growth and development for new hospitality managers.
Has it helped you to develop your own skills?
I have developed my leadership skills and gained a personal sense of satisfaction from developing the mentee. My confidence skills have increased significantly with being able to reiterate my previous experiences to the mentee of working and studying internationally in China, USA, Cyprus and the UK. Further to this, being a mentor has helped me to build my professional networks, become an advocate within the industry, and communicate more effectively both academically and professionally.
What’s the best piece of advice you have given your mentee?
Stay focused, work hard and always have an end goal. Always have an inter-personal, positive and professional approach when solving any given situation. If handling a guest complaint think logically by planning beforehand what will be discussed and this will be a more professional approach. It is always useful to have further education in the area you are working as this will help with career growth and open further doors. Also, shadowing another department or area of work will enable you to enhance your career development.
What would you say to someone considering getting involved?
It is important to know that mentoring requires one hundred percent commitment. The mentee needs to be aware that you would provide full support and dedication at all times. Essentially the mentor needs to have more knowledge and experience than the person being mentored. The mentor needs to be confident in their approach and have endless drive to succeed to ensure the mentee enhances their development.
It would be ideal if the person you are mentoring had a similar background and level of experience to the mentor. For example, I am mentoring an employee who has an Asian background of living and working in Taiwan and holds a degree in Hospitality Management. My experience of working in Guangzhou China is essential to supporting the individual to reach their full potential.