My mentoring experience: Charlie Waterman


Charlie Waterman is an alumna (Law, 2013) and Head of Internal Recruitment for Harnham, a data and analytics recruitment company. Here she is in charge of hiring new talent for their business. Much of her role focuses on hiring for their Graduate Programmes and each year she spends time at universities and career fairs meeting students and talking to them about a career in recruitment.

Charlie talks to us about why mentoring is so valuable and how King’s Connect can help.


How did you get into recruitment?

I originally chose King’s for its reputation in the legal field. It wasn't until just before I graduated that I realised I didn't want to be a lawyer anymore, but by that time I'd missed the careers fairs and opportunities to find out what else was out there. I graduated with very little idea of what could be next for me. I was given lots of advice and started to sit down and figure out what my key strengths were. I knew I was hard-working, I was competitive and I liked the idea of being in a client facing role. These were all things that people told me suited recruitment consulting, but I'd never considered a career in sales before - it was so different to law! But it turns out a career in recruitment was exactly where I was meant to be.

Why do you mentor for King’s
When I moved into internal recruitment at Harnham, spending much of my time talking to new graduates, I realised that I wanted the chance to offer my insight into the world for those not quite sure on their career paths. Had I thought about talking to someone like a mentor myself, I may have felt a little less lost than I did after graduation. It gives me great pleasure to help people in a way I wish I’d had help back in the day.

How can mentoring help graduates?
For graduates, the chance to get an insight from someone who has been there and done that is amazing. Unless you're on a definite career path (and even then), navigating the world of post-graduation careers is pretty daunting. For those considering careers that they don't have much knowledge of, a network within or family connections - mentoring can bridge the gap and give someone eager a little peak behind the curtain.

For me, some of my biggest career growth moments came from having a mentor guide me through my challenges and decision making. Graduates can sometimes have a one-track mind about the career paths they want to follow. I’ve found it particularly valuable when students are open to hearing about other career options and to then provide them insight throughout their application journeys.


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King’s Connect is a great way to make connections and network. For graduates, the chance to get an insight from someone who has been there and done that is amazing. Everyone has been in your position before, so my biggest piece of advice is don’t be scared, reach out, ask questions – you never know what it might lead to.'


What do you enjoy most about mentoring?

I've enjoyed mentoring a wide variety of students and it gives me a buzz to see them go on to get the jobs they wanted. What I enjoy the most is being able be completely truthful and focus on really giving your mentee tangible insights. Your role is to listen to them and help them navigate their next steps. It’s about honestly talking through what options they have – from how to prepare for interviews all the way through to accepting a job offer. 

What advice would you give to a recent graduate?
Be open minded, the path you think you're on may not turn out to be the right one for you. Listen to the different options that are available to you and explore the different paths you can take. Consider finding a mentor. Signing up to the new King’s Connect platform is a great place to start.


'Mentoring is a great chance to connect, inspire and give a different insight into career paths. If you’re looking for the chance to spend a little time on the next generation, inspiring people or paying it forward, all it takes is a few hours a year. The results can be very rewarding!'


Have you used the new King’s Connect mentoring platform?
I’ve enjoyed a number of mentoring relationships through King’s Connect, from those in a similar situation to myself having finished a Law degree, through to those wanting to hear more about the potential path of recruitment. King’s Connect has great functionality to help you connect with the relevant people. You can search for people who are offering the kind of help you need as well as by industry, job function, company, degree, graduation date and more.

What would you say to recommend King’s Connect?
It’s a great way to make connections and network. From careers advice to catching up with old classmates it’s a great way to bridge the gap, wherever you are in the world. It’s very user-friendly and easy to navigate too. All of my mentees have reached out directly to me by messaging through the platform. Some have asked simple questions and with some I have developed a more long-term relationship. Everyone has been in your position before, so my biggest piece of advice would be don't be scared, reach out, ask questions – you never know what it might lead to.

Do you have any tips for using King’s Connect?
Keep your profile up to date, be clear on what type of advice you’re looking for but keep an open mind.

What would you say to recommend mentoring to other alumni?
It’s a great chance to connect, inspire and give a different insight into the career paths that students have today. If you’re looking for the chance to spend a little time on the next generation, inspiring people or paying it forward, all it takes is a few hours a year. The results can be very rewarding!

Name:    Charlie Waterman
Degree:  Law, 2013
Where is she now? Head of Internal Recruitment, Harnham

You can find Charlie on King’s Connect. Sign up and start making connections at http://www.kingsconnect.org.uk