This document explains the role of an Academy Career Mentor and sets out what is expected of you when performing the role.
What is the Neil Jennings Academy?
If you would like to find out more about this programme, you can read about it here.
What is an Academy Career Mentor?
The job of an Academy Career Mentor is to support and mentor these Academites during the first stage of their Infinity Works journey, and beyond. Getting involved on day 1, the Academy Career Mentor's role begins when the Academites first join the company. The objective of the Academy Career Mentor role is to help their Academite progress to a fully-fledged Consultant-level role. The Academy Career Mentor will provide support, coaching, and mentoring to their Academite over the following 12 to 24 months to achieve this. Academy Career Mentors will also take on the normal Advocacy duties for their Academite.
This role is usually carried out by those at career level CL9 Consultant and above.
Support the new Academites joining the company
Provide help and support to the new Associate Consultants while they settle into Infinity Works. Begin building a good relationship with them, ensuring regular and frequent catch-ups during their first few weeks. Flag any problems they may be having to the Academy Leads, where appropriate.
Encourage your Academite to actively participate in the wider Infinity Works culture. Make sure they're aware of the different CoPs that exist, as well as other key events that may be happening. Take some time to understand their hobbies and interests. Encourage them to join Slack channels related to their interests, and to talk to other people within the company that they won't interact with throughout their time in the Academy. If no channels or groups exist that align with their hobbies and interests, get them to create them!
Manage the transition to client accounts
Help in managing the transition from the full-time Academy training programme to working on a client account. Make sure your Academite knows which account they'll be based on as early as possible. Facilitate introductions between your Academite and the rest of their new team before they join the account. Encourage your Academite to begin attending team stand-ups and other important meetings - work with the team's Account Lead to achieve this, if necessary. This is important if the transition from a full-time Academy programme to a client account is to be as seamless and non-daunting as possible.
Keep apprised of the tools and techniques covered during the Academy training programme. Chat to your Academite about the tools and techniques used on their soon-to-be client account, and whether any of those are covered off in or similar to the Academy content. Point them in the right direction for further reading or useful resources if they'd find it helpful to read up before beginning on their account. Stress the importance of a good work-life balance - they will not be expected to know everything before starting on their team.
Manage the expectations of the Account Lead before the Academite joins their team. All Academites will need support on their client account to some extent, regardless of the level of prior experience they may have. Chat to your Academite's Account Lead about their strengths and areas for improvement before they start on the account, to ensure they receive the right amount of support where it is needed.
Once the Academite joins the team, take on the mantle of technical mentoring, ensuring the Academite is provided with enough work at an appropriate level for them. If unable to take on technical mentoring, or if not based on the same account as your Academite, work with them and their Account Lead to provide them with a technical mentor. Make sure a good induction to the team and the tech stack, pairing and other learning opportunities, and any additional required training are organised for your Academite. Ensure help (technical or otherwise) is available for your Academite to access, when needed.
Provide regular feedback on progress
This is less important during your Academite's first 12 full-time weeks, as Academy Leads will be having regular 1-to-1s with all Academites at this point. Once the Academite leaves the full-time programme, however, this continued provision of regular feedback is a must. Organise monthly three-minds meetings between yourself, your Academite, and their Account Lead. If their Account Lead isn't available, make sure the meetings still take place, with someone else senior on their account in a position to provide them with useful feedback stepping in.
Work through the "Associate to Consultant" pathway guide
The Associate to Consultant pathway guide is a good starting point for the development and career progression of your Academite. Remember that the guide is just that - a guide, and not a box-ticking exercise. Work with your Academite to figure out the best approach for them to take in their personal and professional development.
Carry out the normal duties and responsibilities of an Advocate
Part of the Academy Career Mentor role will be to act as your Academite's Advocate, with a focus specifically on helping them develop and progress along the path to Consultant. Take a look at the Advocate role guide for more in-depth information about what's required.
You'll carry out your role in accordance with the requirements of ISO9001 and ISO27001 as reflected in the Company's policies and procedures and the ISO9001 and ISO27001 organisational structure charts.