Connecting Business – Growing Opportunities

The Benefits of Mentorship Programmes

As a networking organisation, ideas-sharing and the passing down of wisdom are truly our bread and butter. The Causeway Professional Partners’ Programme will introduce more experienced Causeway Members to our Young Professional Members to enable them to connect and seek support or advice on their career. 

We sat down with Judith O'Leary, Causeway co-chair and founder of award-winning Edinburgh PR & Marketing agency, Represent, to discuss her experience with mentoring.  

What inspired your decision to join Causeway’s Professional Partner’s Programme as a mentor?  

Having gone through the experience of setting up my own business without the benefit of a supportive network to fast-track my growth, I knew I could make a big difference to young entrants by sharing some of my connections and learnings.  

We often overlook the benefits mentors can gain from these programmes. From your experience, what have been the most significant learnings you have gained as a mentor?  

Working with an inspiring team at Represent, and being a Mum to three young professionals, I am used to learning from intelligent young people whose curious minds and life experiences have broadened my perspective and unveiled opportunities that I simply wouldn’t have thought of. I love their optimism and ‘why-not’ attitude. 

How can young professionals make the most out of their mentorship experience?  

Come prepared, be clear about what your end goal is, ask smart questions and consider how I can help you. 

As a mentor, how do you balance providing guidance with allowing your mentee to develop their independence and decision-making skills?


For me, it’s about coaching not telling. Mentees benefit most when they feel empowered to work a situation out for themselves, rather than being hand-held. That can actually be very disempowering for the individual and hampers their progress.  

Could you share any inspiring success stories from your experiences as a mentor?  

I have had the pleasure of working with a very gifted PR consultant at Represent for the last 5 years. She joined us straight from university and worked her way to Senior Account Manager.  She is leaving the agency this week to take a career break but her parting words to me were ‘I have learnt so much here, I felt out of my comfort zone many times but at all times I have felt supported.’ This is my goal as a mentor – to help young professionals develop in their careers and support them to reach new heights.  

I have worked with many remarkable team players who have gone on to enjoy great careers, from working with Government agencies to big brands such as Jimmy Choo and Celine, and even starting their own businesses. They all make me very proud.

Interested in joining Causeway's Professional Partners Programme? Click here to find out more information and how to apply.  

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