September 9, 2016, by The Ingenuity Lab

Mentoring the leaders of tomorrow

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled” – Plutarch

Mentoring forms an integral part of what makes The Ingenuity Lab, and the wider Haydn Green Institute (HGI) network, so special.

The group of industry leaders, experienced business owners and inspiring personalities who form the HGI mentoring network dedicate their time to helping students and alumni turn their business ideas into viable and sustainable business models.

We cannot thank them enough for all the time they dedicate to helping our businesses grow and inspiring our members.

University of Nottingham Alumnus Keith Burgess (MEng, 1987) has been mentoring at the HGI for the past year. We recently caught up with him to find out a bit more about his involvement with the mentoring process…

HGI mentor, Keith Burgess

HGI mentor, Keith Burgess

What is your career history?

After my MEng from The University of Nottingham in 1987, I spent five years at Courtaulds managing factories in Nottingham and Ashby. I then took an MBA at UHBS Paris and Hartford Connecticut.

Since 1994, I have been a Management Consultant, working across Europe. Firstly for KPMG, and since 1999, for IBM, where I am now responsible for Management Consulting training across IBM in Europe.

What does your mentoring involve?

I became a mentor last year, and have mentored first-year students on developing new business ideas as a team. This involves coaching them on developing their ideas into realistic propositions, and preparing them to present their ideas to a Dragon’s Den of University staff.

I have also mentored students later in their university studies who are working as teams on running a business, using business simulation software.  This software allows them to simulate setting up and running their own businesses over a three-year timescale.  My involvement is to help them step back from the software simulation, to forget about the game, and to think what they would do in real life.

What do you think is important about mentoring at the HGI?

Students learning about business need exposure to the world outside of academia.  It is important for the students to make contact with the real world of business, to put what they have learned into practice, with advice from non-academic experience.  Business students learn best through experiential learning.  Us mentors are there to give them guidance on this experience, to help them understand the relevance of what they are learning.

What you think you have got from mentoring at the HGI?

I have enjoyed seeing students develop some great business ideas.  I have increased my network of Nottingham alumni with a common interest in developing students in the world of business, and have benefitted from enhancing my professional network.

We are always on the lookout for new people to join our ever growing mentoring network.

If you have experience in business and would like to help inspire and develop the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow, please email 

The Haydn Green Institute Impact Report 2016 will also be available to view online soon, which includes case studies on some of our amazing mentors, so keep an eye out!

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Posted in MentorsPromotionThe Ingenuity Lab