Caroline: it pushed me outside of my comfort zone
Caroline Hynes had worked in a series of product roles in the technology sector before she started the programme at the start of 2016. By the time this interview was conducted in October 2017, she had moved to a new role as Head of Product at Oneview Healthcare.
Caroline Hynes has always recognised the importance of mentoring. She has been a mentor to others and encourages her direct reports to have one.
“I inherently understood the benefits of mentoring but I hadn’t actually had a mentor for years,” says Caroline. “The programme team did a great job in matching me up with my mentor. Anne-Marie was really good at challenging me on my thought processes and pushing me outside my comfort zone.”
However, initially her mentor — Anne-Marie Taylor, management consultant and co-founder Career Returners — wondered if Caroline even needed mentoring.
“When I originally met with her, I really wondered what value I could add. She is a mentor to others, and is already so reflective, insightful and self-aware that I had to think hard about how I could make sure she benefitted from the relationship. In the end, I think it was about being there for her when she needed to be challenged and encouraged,” says Anne-Marie, who added that she also benefitted from the relationship.
“I got at least as much out of the relationship as she did. She provided a window to a world of tech start-ups that I had no experience of but more importantly she made me realise that no matter what stage of your career you’re at, you can always benefit from mentoring. Advice I should take myself!”
One important aspect of the programme for Caroline was examining her values. “I have a set of values for myself and Anne-Marie helped me to feel confident in doing what felt authentic to me. She helped me find my authentic voice in the business world and still feel true to myself and get my message across.”
Goal setting is something Caroline was already good at but she says the programme gave her “a great framework for processing my thoughts”.
“It has given me another lens to work through things; another tool for problem-solving in relation to career mapping and the managing upwards piece.”
Caroline was always going to change her job during the process but the programme helped her in the way she approached her search. “When I went to look for a new job, I was clear on my values and whether they aligned with the values of the company. My values are my North Star,” says Caroline.
View Caroline’s profile on LinkedIn