Why Mentoring Matters

NigelMentee-Testimonial, Testimonial

Sengova Kailondo is a solicitor in the Asset Finance team at Hogan Lovells International LLP and he has recently been recognised in The EMpower Ethnic Minority Future leaders Role Model List as an inspirational black role model. Although Sengova is not yet a senior leader in an organisation he is making a significant contribution to ethnic minority inclusion at work. He has been breaking down barriers and helping to smash the ceiling for ethnic minorities. The EMpower role model list captures the top 100 future leaders in the UK, Ireland, Europe, United States and Canada.

Where did it all start?

Sengova joined Urban Synergy as a mentee and through the programme managed to get valuable work experience and guidance from mentors. 

Sengova says: “Urban Synergy has been instrumental in my legal career.  At the time that I met the Urban Synergy team, I was an aspiring lawyer starting sixth form – however, my biggest hindrance was obtaining work experience to consolidate my interest and assist in applying to university to study law. I did not have any family members in the legal industry and it was a struggle to obtain any experience by effectively cold calling and emailing various law firms, the majority of which did not even respond to my requests.

In expressing my interest in law to Urban Synergy, they quickly put me in touch with lawyers at the time who were able to mentor me and provide guidance on the steps I needed to take to progress my career.  

I obtained work experience with Anu Omideyi, a barrister at Furnival Chambers, in July 2009 (photo below) which introduced me to serious crime cases at the Old Bailey and Court of Appeal.  This allowed me to develop my research skills and gain insight into the UK court systems.  I also gained a practical understanding of the differences between a barrister and a solicitor. This highlighted to me that I was more suited to a career as a solicitor.

In 2010, Urban Synergy went the extra mile to connect me with another person in the legal industry, Colin Corrodus, who was a legal director at Barclays Capital.  I was invited to work in the compliance team at Barclays in Canary Wharf and this was my first experience of the legal work underpinning transactions in the corporate sector. I attended client meetings, worked on acquisitions and assisted with due diligence matters for Barclays’ clients, as well as analysing distribution agreements and drafting some basic contract provisions. This experience was instrumental and confirmed my interest to pursue a career in commercial law.

I am grateful to Urban Synergy for all of their guidance and support – it would have been significantly more difficult to get to the stage I am today without their assistance.  Kudos to the team at Urban Synergy for their impactful work!
Urban Synergy are proud to see Sengova recognised as one of the rising stars of the future who just needed an opportunity to shine.  We are delighted to have been able to support him on his career journey and he is now part of our alumni supporting and extending his hand to help other young people in the community by sharing career insights. Our heartfelt congratulations - you’ve got this and we’ve got you.