Alexandra Perikleous and Chakée Adjemian were partnered in the most recent cohort of our Postgraduate Female Careers Mentoring programme, as a mentor and mentee respectively. The programme brings together an alum of an LSE master’s programme with a current master’s student to meet regularly and discuss ideas and experiences around careers and progression.
Here’s how Alexandra and Chakée found the experience…
“Hi, I’m Alexandra and I studied a Masters of Law at LSE specialising in corporate and commercial law, graduating in 2017.
At the moment, I am an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Cyprus and a member of the Cyprus Bar Association. I am working at S.A. Evangelou & Co LLC, part of the PwC international legal network. I took part in the programme as a mentor.”
“Hi, I’m Chakée and I graduated from LSE in November 2021 with a Master of Laws in Public International Law.
I am now working for a French Institution, the Défenseur des Droits, to coordinate outreach activities promoting equality and non-discrimination. I took part in the programme as Alexandra’s mentee.”
Firstly, we asked Alexandra and Chakée what intially drew them to take part in the programme…
Alexandra said “When I started my career some time ago, I felt at times that I lacked a mentor and that I had to learn the hard way. Having someone to guide you especially in your first steps in your professional life is crucial both for your advancement and progression as well as growth of confidence. Due to this, I wanted to provide support and assistance to lawyers starting out in their career so that they have the necessary guidance, confidence, courage and comfort anyone would need in the beginning.”
For Chakée, “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after my graduation. I felt mentally drained after such a difficult year and I wanted some time to think and reflect about which path I wanted follow. Having a former student from LSE as a mentor sounded like a great way to do that.”
I wanted some time to think and reflect about which path I wanted follow.
So what did Chakée expect coming into the programme as a mentee? She says, “When I started the programme, I wanted advice and guidance from someone with an external perspective. Friends and family can help but sometimes you need a more objective point of view. Ideally, this would have come from someone with the same Public International Law specialisation as me, but I was very surprised by how much I learned from Alexandra. I felt like despite our mentor/mentee relationship, we were very much on an equal footing and could freely discuss any topic.”
For Alexandra, the experience of being a mentor brought back memories of her own time at LSE – “I could relate to a number of the points discussed during my mentor-mentee relationship with Chakée. I remembered the feelings and the questions that I was immersed in towards the end of my time at LSE whilst the next chapter of professional life was being unfolded before me.”
It’s been a very fulfilling experience.
Alexandra says her three key takeaways from mentoring have been:
- The people I have met and created a relationship with are surely something I will take away and I will try to maintain.
- I will take away the power of showing vulnerability and how it helped create a more trusting relationship with my mentee.
- The satisfaction of giving back to the community and that I would like to think that I have helped in the best possible way.
For Chakée, she is taking away:
- Advice on my career based on my mentor’s own experience and general knowledge of the job market.
- The ability to now assess my own strengths, something which I had always struggled with.
- Most importantly, I’ve met a wonderful mentor who I am sure I will keep in touch with in the future.
So where to next? Alexandra is keen to continue mentoring as it’s been such a fulfilling experience. Chakée says “My current contract is coming to an end so I am looking for new opportunities in the field of human rights. I am not sure yet whether I’ll be doing mentoring in the future, though I’m definitely not excluding it. We’ll see where I am in a few years and if I’m ever in a position where I can share useful advice to postgraduate students, then I will gladly do so.”
With thanks to Alexandra Perikleous and Chakée Adjemian for sharing their experiences with us. Find out more about how alumni can support the next generation of graduates on the LSE Careers website.