Meet Mena Clark and Jo O’Brien.

Mena was mentored by Jo through TIME’s 13th intake a few years back. We asked them for recollections of their shared TIME experience as Mentor and Mentee.

Here’s what they had to say.


What drew you to the TIME program?
I was at a point in my career where I felt it was time for me to learn more and grow professionally.

What do you recall from your first session with Jo?
I was really nervous, thinking that I would be a complete failure.
I had very low confidence in myself and prayed that she wouldn’t see right through me.

What did you find the most challenging part of your TIME mentoring experience?
Being completely transparent and trusting. But it’s essential to be open up and tap into this one-on-one, challenging opportunity that your experienced mentor is prepared to share with you.

And the most rewarding?
Definitely the validation that what and how I was doing things in my business was OK.
That I was been very hard on myself, instead of proud of what I had achieved.

What specific learnings from your experience guide you in your career now?
Jo’s approach to sales was a complete eye-opener, and I still use those tips today.
Also, confidence in how I’m doing things and the approach I take to my work.

In what ways do you feel your career prospects have been enhanced by your TIME experience?
How do you feel you’ve changed?

In the years since graduating from TIME, I have grown the business with new clients which was my goal, and I continue to pursue further growth.

Who should consider being a Mentee?
There have been so many different people from various industries enter the program and graduate with their own specific outcomes.
It’s a very flexible and versatile program but, in my opinion, it’s for people who are open and willing to embrace the experience, and those who want to learn from the most respected people in the industry.

Describe your TIME experience in three words.
That’s a tricky one…

Gratitude. Opportunity. Experience.


How did you get involved in the TIME program?
I was invited to TIME’s induction and graduation events for some time and was so inspired I offered to mentor.

I thought the program was great and should be supported.
The graduation speeches from mentees are always uplifting and often very moving.

How many TIME participants have you mentored?
I have mentored three participants through the TIME program.

How would you describe Mena’s development through the mentoring experience?
Where did he/she start? Where did he/she end up?

Mena needed to develop confidence in her abilities and her efforts.
She is passionate about what she does but didn’t see her achievements, only her disappointments and knock backs.
By the time she completed the program, I believe she felt greater confidence, could see knock-backs as normal, and was able to more easily move on to the next opportunity.

What was the most satisfying thing for you about mentoring Mena?
Watching her gain confidence, develop new strategies and not allow herself to get discouraged when they didn’t always work.
Also seeing her understand that what she did was hard, had unique challenges and that she was doing a great job.

Mentors often state that they learn many things from their mentees, what did you learn from Mena?
I was reminded about how difficult it is for sales people, and how the effort and the passion isn’t always rewarded. And that’s not due to any lack of judgement or error – it’s just how it goes.
I learnt that there are people in your business who actually approach their work as if they owned the business. They are as personally invested in it as the actual owners are financially invested.

Have you ever had a Mentor yourself?
Not in the formal sense, but I consider a number of the senior people I worked with over the years as mentors.
I have had the opportunity to observe many styles of management and make choices about the sort of leader I want to be.
I am still in touch with previous managers and use them as a sounding board and seek their guidance from time to time.