Anthony (Tony) Rimoldi graduated from Civil Engineering in 1980, but for the past eight years he has volunteered his time to mentor the next generation of graduates. Here he talks about his experience as a professional mentor at City.
I graduated from City (Civil Engineering) in 1980 and since then I have enjoyed a successful career in my chosen subject. I worked initially in local government, Greater London Council, where I became Chartered. I then spent time as an engineer in Doha. After returning from the Middle East I joined Concrete Repairs Ltd. That was in 1983. Since then I have enjoyed a challenging and interesting career with the company, leading my team through a management buyout in 2006. I remain at the head of the company and continue to lead a growing group of smaller companies, all related to construction and engineering. As you might imagine that period was very busy for me. However, the founders of the business in 1954 were both civil engineers and I wished to maintain that tradition. So the senior staff in the company are nearly all civil engineers.
About nine or ten years ago I recall an email from the professional mentoring team at City asking for new recruits. I think that email arrived at just about the right time. My own experience in both management and civil engineering was varied and quite lengthy. I felt that some of my experience may be of use to undergraduates from City. In short I felt that I could give “something back” and that my advice may be of use to others. So the email was my encouragement and I joined the scheme.
I found the initial experience of mentoring quite challenging because it was all new to me. What was an absolute eye opener was trying to understand the goals, ambitions and career paths of 20-year-old undergraduates in the second decade of this century. It is completely different to the experience of 30 years previously. Their understanding of the industry, personal and family pressures, diversity issues were all new to me. And of course very exciting. Some of my mentees have been so bright they should be mentoring me. But I have seen a change in them all. If all I do is to give them a push in the right direction and help to build their confidence then I think I have achieved something. I really enjoy just chatting to them and hearing their opinions on current affairs. It is valuable to me to understand the thoughts of people 40 years younger than I am. I have been able to provide summer placements for most of my mentees and they have all performed brilliantly. I am so happy learning of their progress after graduating and seeing their careers blossom.
As we move in our careers we need to think about succession. The greatest achievement is to employ youngsters, support them and encourage their careers. Mentoring allows this to happen and if only one thing that is said by me has an impact and is remembered by the mentee then it is all worth it.
For more information about City’s Professional Mentoring Scheme please visit: city.ac.uk/careers/recruiters/get-involved-on-campus/mentoring