A mentoring case study: Claire Askham, Mentor

Claire is Head of Mortgage Sales at Buckinghamshire Building Society. She tells us a bit about why she became a mentor and what her experience has been so far

Tell us a bit about yourself

I have been working in the mortgage and finance industry for over 23 years. It was something that I fell into but once I was in, I fell in love with it.  I’m passionate about sharing my experience to help others. My experience started in the secured loan market, before moving to working for a mortgage club and then on to lenders, including specialist lending and finally the fabulous building society world. Outside of work you will be find me on my bike or in the pool, which helps me reset and think – on the bike is where I have most of my best ideas. I also love spending time with my family making memories, alongside my new puppy called Brody – he is definitely a challenge!

How would you describe your experience with mentoring? 

I have been in the position where I was been able to have a mentor myself, from some of the industry’s most respected people – I still have one now. I found that it was so beneficial to me and really helped progress my journey in this industry. Being able to discuss challenges and obstacles, as well as great news stories, has been key to helping my personal journey. This was one of the reasons that I wanted to put myself forward with Working in Mortgages, to help support someone else that might be newer to the industry or just to help share my experience. I get the most pleasure seeing individuals progress and achieve their goals, and feeling that I’m making a difference.

What have you got out of your mentoring relationship so far?

Our sessions have been very positive and it makes me proud to see how the journey is progressing, supporting each other and taking the time to listen. The Working in Mortgages site has some great tools that I have been able to use to help create a plan, and to really focus on the outcome that we are looking to achieve – setting off 2024 with new goals and a positive outcome.

Is there anything you would do differently in future, now that you have had or have been a mentor?

I don’t think so. Planning is the key to successful meetings. Setting out what we are both looking to achieve at the outset is important, as is making the time to provide support. At the start of the journey, understanding each other’s challenges is key to ensuring that we both get the best out of the journey.

What would you say to someone considering signing up to the mentoring scheme?

I would say definitely do it – whether it’s being a mentor or a mentee, we can support each other and there is so much that we can share and learn from each other.

This industry is a great place to be and I cannot think of any other industry that I would want to be part of. It makes be proud when I see how we support each other and how hard we are working to educate new people looking to join this world.