This month's mentor is International Alumni Council member Jean-Philippe Verdier SLN2010, who tells us what he has gained from being an LBS mentor. 

In one sentence, why is mentoring important?
Selfishly, because I learn a lot from exchanging with a graduate as to his / her aspirations, interests, challenges, view points. And obviously the pleasure of giving back.

What’s your top piece of advice for people considering the scheme?
We all have something to offer back. It's a lot about listening, listening and... sharing ideas, experience (positive or not so much), and let the mentee take what he/she wants out of it

Why did you choose to take up mentoring? 
This is one simple and practical thing I could participate in. I very much believe in "Every little helps".

The LBS community is global by nature. How much of your mentoring was face-to-face, versus virtual? 
99% of my mentorship was face-to-face, in the pub (being based in the UK, it has to be!). I really believe in face-to-face dialogue and connections. It could as well have been otherwise, all that counts is that it contributes to what the mentee is looking for.

If you could choose a dream mentor, who would you choose? 
Nelson Mandela, for his amazing resilience, compassion, ability to bring alongside him and around his vision such divergent view points.

What values characterise LBS? Where does mentorship fit into the LBS culture?
It is about the sense of community, across programs, nationalities, ages, cultures, experiences. Also, about transmission, life-long learning and (personally, and un-officially) reverse-mentorship

What is your life motto?
Today, having turned entrepreneur, the motto I apply to myself in my firm is “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed” – Theodore Roosevelt