Two Months Into My Role As Chair – Rebecca Simkiss

I can hardly believe that nearly two months have passed since August’s handover dinner, where I officially began my tenure as chair. As the old cliché goes though, time flies.
By my calculation the first sixth of my year has gone, there still so much to do and so many people still to meet!
Those of you who were present for my first speech back in August, and who read my first blog in September, will recall I was very clear that I wanted to put the brilliant work Future has done and will continue to do around mentoring at the core of my focus.
I wanted to launch a major new initiative that gave us not only a platform, but a firm base in which to build on our existing and highly successful Aspire Mentoring and Future Mentoring activities, which up until then had been run fantastically by our Future Development Committee.
I said we would create a new Mentoring Committee whose role it would be to run a newly created Future Mentoring Academy, and I am delighted that this was officially launched on 15th October. It is an initiative that I sincerely hope will become a jewel in the crown for Future.
In my day job as a recruiter I see how valuable and sometimes inspiring having a good mentor can be. A good mentor can bring a perspective that is hard to find amongst friends or close colleagues. A mentor can bring an independence of view, often they can approach challenges from an angle that only someone looking from the outside can offer.
It is important to acknowledge too that it is very much a two way process – my own experience has demonstrated to me that a mentor can find the process as beneficial and inspiring as the mentee. So by now you will know I am fan.
I am delighted that October’s Future Mentoring Academy launch marks the start of an exciting and ambitious new journey. I hope that many of you will fully support our new Mentoring Academy. Tell your colleagues, tell your friends, tell your boss! However you decided to engage with the Future Mentoring Academy, I hope that you find it to be an experience that is valuable, inspiring and fun!
Mentoring aside, it has been a busy couple of months for Future. Following the re-structure of our committees as announced in August, our brand new Membership Committee is raring to go, with some exciting plans in place already to ensure you are able to gain maximum impact from your Future membership, not to mention our brand new exclusive monthly member only offers!
Our new look Development Committee is also going to be one to watch, leading the way with their “Habits” workshop on the 19th November. There are just a couple of tickets remaining, so snap yours up now before they sell out. I have had a sneak peak at their 2016 plans; you absolutely won’t want to miss out!
Recent Future events have ranged from the excellent Infrastructure Committee round table breakfast discussion (I learned a lot!), to our Engage Committee persuading people to skydive to raise money for our charity of the year (they were far braver than me) and the Sports Committee rallying the troops for the new netball and football seasons. Too early to start thinking about BYPY 2016? I think not! Plans are very much under way for what I know is going to be yet another amazing event in May.
October also saw two of our flagship events from the Talent Committee and Social & Culture Committee combine for the very first time; Welcome to Birmingham and Eat & Greet. The event was a smash hit with 150 guests in attendance, comprising of both Future members and the city’s new recruits working in the BPS sector. The evening was a chance for new professionals to meet their peers, begin building their networks and find out what our great city has to offer. Guests were also able to find out more about Birmingham’s thriving culinary scene, and discover the best places to take clients or socialise outside work – with a menu sample or two thrown in for good measure.
November is shaping up to be equally as busy, with highlights including the next event in our Leaders’ Lunches series with Nick Green, Partner at Squire Patton Boggs and of course, the Future Christmas Party at the end of the month. So that’s it from me for this month. I will be back in December with my final update for 2015!

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