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Gaining new perspectives through mentoring

When Yasir Abbas was paired with experienced mentor, Chris Golis, they both took away a unique lesson from the four-month MemX Mentoring program.

For Yasir Abbas IMLa, completing his MBA with IML ANZ partner school UBSS, was a proud achievement. Yasir’s strong academic results saw him offered a place on the MemX Mentoring program. It was the icing on the cake of two years of hard work and dedication.

“Through the 16 subjects of the MBA program, I learned a bit of everything about all the important aspects of business,” says Yasir. “Participating in the MemX Mentoring program following my MBA was invaluable. It gave me the opportunity to tap into my mentor’s experience and dive deeper into some of the topics I was most interested in.”

The perfect partnership

Yasir’s mentor was Christopher Golis FIML, an experienced venture capitalist, author and emotional intelligence coach.

One of the things that impressed Yasir most about the program was just how good a pairing he and Chris made.

“Chris is such an experienced individual,” explains Yasir. “The great thing about the program is that you aren’t just assigned to any mentor. Instead, you are connected to a mentor who has the best qualifications and experience to meet your needs.

“As part of the application process, I was asked what areas of interest I wanted to explore further. It was very evident that whoever had matched me with Chris had really paid attention to what I wanted to achieve from the experience.”

Valuable real-world learnings

The nature of the pairing meant that Yasir was able to tap into Chris’ incredible business brain to gain valuable insights that he could implement in his career.

As a marketer, Yasir was most interested in learning from Chris’s business and sales experience. Through the mentoring sessions, he also learned some important lessons about building strong relationships.

“What Chris shared with me about targeting and segmenting audiences and inbound marketing was so powerful.

“Most importantly, I really benefited from what he shared with me about customer retention and relationships. I have since invested a lot of time in fostering my relationships with my clients. People do business with people, and loyalty and engagement are so closely connected to this principle.”

Aside from business talk, Yasir also made the most of Chris’ decades of experience as a venture capitalist to learn more about investing in the stock market. While it’s not a traditional element of the MemX Mentoring program, it goes to show the diversity of experience mentees can draw on both professionally and personally.

From the left: Yasir Abbas IMLa and Chris Golis FIML

Two-way relationship

So often when we talk about mentoring relationships, we focus on the benefits to the mentee. It is, after all, an opportunity for them to gain the benefit of years of expertise and insight from an experienced mentor.

However, as with any good relationship, mentoring is a two-way thing.

Yasir obviously benefited from the experience of his mentor. But what of Chris?

Over his career, Chris had a number of mentors who played a role in guiding and advising him in key decisions that shaped his direction. Over the years he has enjoyed giving back to a number of mentees.

“Now that I’m at the end of my business career, there is a sense of rejuvenation in mentoring someone who is still growing their career,” explains Chris.

“Personally, it has given me the chance to learn about other organisations, such as UBSS, through Yasir and other mentees. In working through the various questions and subjects we talk about, it also helps me to reinforce my view of things.”

Both Chris and Yasir are advocates of the MemX Mentoring program. “Ask your mentor about their success, but also about their failures,” advises Chris. “People are always able to talk about the best things they’ve done but there is also a lot you can learn from their mistakes.”

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