From The Straits Times    |
herworld-mentorship-kanak-muchhal-daughtersoftomorrow

They may come from different industries and diverse backgrounds, but the eight mentors with Her World’s inaugural Mentorship Programme have plenty in common: For one, they are keen to lend their insights and advice from their own journeys.

Many of them have also had non-linear career paths, sometimes taking leaps of faith to land their biggest breakthroughs. Others have struggled with being the only woman in the room, or juggling the realities of being a mother, wife, and daughter. We hear from our mentors directly, and learn how the power of mentorship has helped in their own careers.

Kanak Muchhal, senior manager, Programmes, Daughters of Tomorrow

After spending four years in university majoring in finance and accounting, and another five years working in the finance and business development sector, Kanak felt that she was not finding meaning in her career. Becoming a mother in 2016 had put these concerns into perspective.

“If I chose to take time away from my child, it would be for a purpose that was truly important and valuable to me,” she says.

Kanak made the decision to start over in the social services sector, inspired by her time as a volunteer with non-profits in the US and Japan.

She had also pursued a Masters in Counselling, which “empowered me to chart a new direction in my career”. Today, she leads Programmes at Daughters Of Tomorrow (DOT), where she runs operations, and creates initiatives to help develop and nurture the talents of the charity’s beneficiaries.

What do you hope to achieve as a mentor?

I think there are many parallels between counselling and mentorship, so I am eager to venture into this new role myself. I have found it extremely rewarding to be an “informal mentor” to a number of DOT beneficiaries and colleagues. Spending time understanding their professional and personal goals has led to authentic discussions around opportunities they could consider. Bringing a fresh perspective can also help to reignite new thinking and options.

As someone who implements initiatives, how would you manage up?

My approach is quite collaborative. After identifying a problem and a possible solution, I tend to socialise the idea with peers and colleagues to get their input and feedback. It enables me to refine the solution/programme design, while getting buy-in from the broader team. That way, it is much easier when it comes to finalising a “big” decision.

Do you have any tips for our mentees?

Open yourself up to new connections. You never know when a common spark can grow into a mutually nurturing relationship.

About the Her World Mentorship Programme

Whether you’re just starting out or at a crossroads in your career, Her World’s Mentorship Programme connects mentees with influential women who are leaders in their respective fields. Besides professional development, one stands to build valuable connections as well as gain professional insight and female support from this peer community.

PHOTOGRAPHY Veronica Tay
ART DIRECTION Adeline Eng
STYLING ASSISTANCE Lena Kamaruddin
HAIR & MAKEUP Aung Apichai / Artistry, using Shu Uemura & Kevin Murphy; Benedict Choo, using Laura Mercier