Anna Patching is a Guarantee Sound Engineer from NEP UK. Having taken part of the Rise mentoring programme in 2018, we caught up with her to find out more about her experience and explore how it has had a positive impact on her career.

Tell us a bit more about your role at NEP UK

My job is to look after all of the sound and communication equipment on an OB to make sure the show runs smoothly and the clients needs are met.

Why did you apply for the mentoring scheme?

I applied for the Rise mentoring scheme because I was looking for some guidance and a support network outside my immediate industry. In the small world of outside broadcasts it’s all to easy to get absorbed in the immediate and forget to look at the bigger picture that you are part of. Applying for the scheme was my way of finding a means to take a step back and work out how to give myself the best opportunity to address my position both currently and going forward in the industry.

What was the best thing about the mentoring programme?

Without a doubt the best thing about the mentoring programme for me was the impartial advice I received from both my mentor, and the wider RISE community. 

What was the biggest learning you took away from the mentoring programme?

The biggest thing I learnt from the scheme is that it’s ok to be ambitious with my career goals, and that ambition and drive is something I should be proud of and able to act upon.

What’s the best piece of advice you received from your mentor?

The best bit of advice was for me to continually appraise my role. To ask myself where I want to be in 3, 6 and 12 months time and see if the role I’m in will deliver a mechanism to allow me to achieve that goal, and if the answer is at any point ‘no’ – to do something about it.

How did networking with your fellow mentees help you?

The support group formed with the fellow mentees is for me the most unexpected benefit of the scheme. From the very first session workshopping how to make the most of the scheme, it was clear that between the mentees we have a safe space where anything can be discussed. It’s also inspiring to be grouped with other like-minded, ambitious women in the wider industry.

Has it helped to improve your career? If so, how?

My mentor helped me realise that for me moving across the NEP group would provide me with more opportunity to grow in my career and was the catalyst for me to actually put myself forward for vacant positions. Overall, the scheme has also improved my confidence and has made me more self aware of how I portray myself to my colleagues and clients.

After the programme finished, how have you continued to build on relationships with your mentor, fellow mentees and the Rise team?

Work commitments makes it hard to regularly meet face-to-face with my mentor, but we stay in touch via email. The mentee group have a WhatsApp group where we all keep in touch regularly, and it’s lovely to know that they are just the other end of a message if I need.

When I can I also try to attend the Rise industry events to meet up with everyone and meet new people. It very much feels like one part of the Rise family, you’re always welcome.

Would you recommend the mentoring programme to others? If so, why?

I’d thoroughly recommend the Rise mentoring programme for anyone who feels they could benefit with a friendly face, a little guidance or like me, a support network outside their immediate workplace.

For me the experience ended up being so much valuable than the one-to-one mentoring. Carrie, Sadie and the rest of the Rise team were so much better at evaluating how the scheme could benefit me than I was, and it’s proven to be more than I could have ever expected. Based on that alone i’d say apply – because like me you might just get the support and help that you didn’t even realise you needed.

What’s happened to you after the programme finished? 

I’ve been working on a wider range of programmes and i’m looking forward to my busiest year to date!

Inspired by Anna’s experience?

Read more about the Rise mentoring programme