It is our pleasure to announce the winner of the Industry Partner Mentoring Award, Kieran Webber! Kieran is a buyer at Ralph Lauren and has been a mentor to our students for almost 3 years.
LCF News caught up with LCF Careers to find out how Kieran has helped them:
“Kieran has been one of the mentors that is always willing to support as many students as possible on a one to one basis. He has taken time out to have the mentoring training we provide. He has given students a great insight into his own career path and how he got to where he is now. His expertise has given our students guidance on job applications and interview techniques, which has successfully lead students to secure great jobs. He is one of the most inspirational mentors.”
LCF News: What’s your role, who do you work for and who did you mentor?
KW: I first started working on LCF Careers Mentoring Scheme when I was an Assistant Buyer at House of Fraser. I’ve since moved onto Ralph Lauren where I’m now Associate Buyer on Menswear, Buying Polo Ralph Lauren for the European retail stores. I’ve mentored several students over the past 4 years, specializing in helping final year students apply for their first job in the industry. Two students that particularly stand out for me are Kim Lewis and Kayleigh Jackson who went on to start roles with Primark and H&M respectively.
LCF News: Why did you decide to become a mentor for an LCF student?
KW: I remember how hard it was starting out in the fashion industry and how much I would have appreciated help from someone in the know.
LCF News: How valuable is mentoring to students wanting to get into the industry today?
KW: Real life experience in the industry is invaluable and it’s important to share that experience so that first time job applicants know what to expect. The students I’ve mentored are always grateful to learn about what a recruiter looks for and expects to see in an interview. It’s the beginning of their career and what they’ve worked so hard for through university so essential they make the right choices.
LCF News: What did you and your organisation gain from the experience and would you recommend it to others?
KW: Being a mentor for LCF is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. It’s great to think that you’ve helped someone make the first steps into a career. I would certainly recommend it.
LCF News: How did LCF Careers support you as a mentor?
KW: LCF put a lot of effort into matching the students to the best suited mentor based on their experience and all students/mentors agree a contract ensuring ethical standards are kept and the students’ confidentiality is protected.
LCF News: What makes a good mentee?
KW: Someone who listens – a lot! It’s important for the student to come to their own conclusions. Mentoring is a lot about listening rather than teaching or trying to push decisions onto someone. It’s also important to remain unbiased towards influencing a student on which career path they should take.
LCF News: Can you give us a day-in-the-life of Keiran Webber?
KW: There is no typical day in buying! Although the one constant is the Monday trade meeting, when we review the previous week’s sales and come up with actions for the following week and also forms the basis of our future buys.
Most days I arrive at the office for around 8:30 with a large coffee and review my diary for the day. Then I catch up with the rest of the team to check to-do lists and priorities for the day. At the moment my time is taken up by finalizing our Holiday ’15 Buy assortment whilst beginning to form our Spring ’16 strategy and travelling to as many stores as possible to discuss current trade with the store managers.
A big congratulations to Kieran on this achievement. We are extremely grateful for the wonderful support and guidance he gives to LCF students and we look forward to working with him in the future.
We will be announcing the well-deserved winners and runners up for each category here on the blog and across social media so stay tuned!