What is it like being a Na’amal mentor?

3 min readMar 31, 2023

The aim of Na’amal’s mentoring programme is to develop professional skills and build networks for refugees and members of the host community.

Last year, Arm, a leading technology provider of semiconductors, based in Cambridge UK, established a pilot volunteering programme with Na’amal. Between July and December, ten mentors from Arm supported refugees completing the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Refugee Action Hub’s Certificate in Data and Computer Science and Na’amal’s Human Skills Program.

Below, Derry Murphy (Senior Director, Home Segment) shares his experience of mentoring.

At Arm, we have a very active volunteering team that continually finds opportunities and great causes for our employees to get involved with. I am always interested in ways to give back but being a remote employee, I am unable to get involved with many of the great causes that come along. When I saw the posting looking for mentors to work with Na’amal refugees, I was immediately drawn to it and saw an opportunity to help somebody along in their career just as many people have helped me.

I wasn’t sure what to expect coming into the programme but I was pleasantly surprised to find my mentee had already established a good base, had a job, and was studying for several Certificates at MIT as part of the Na’amal/MIT React program. The courses included Data Science, Computer Science, and Business Leadership.

My mentee became a refugee from Russia because of the current regime’s stance on LGBT and came to the US to start a new life free from oppression. Our sessions were conversational and brainstorming in nature and I recognized several of the career questions we encountered as things I had faced myself at some point. He had some good experience providing business services to corporate accounts in Russia and began working in the US expanding the partnership network for a startup in the hospitality industry. A customer-related role looked like a natural fit but we needed to find a role with a good career path to give him room to grow and develop. We were also eager to utilize his platform experience and his technical learnings from MIT. A corporate account executive for a software platform seemed like a possible target.

We began revamping his resume to target the type of role he wanted. We also started to profile the kind of company he would like to work for and began to form a target list. Over the next couple of months, he secured many interviews at a broad range of companies and we worked on answering open-ended interview questions, bringing his relevant experiences to the fore and eventually negotiating an offer.

I am happy to say that he has recently secured a full-time role for a payment platform company. He will play a leading role in growing their business and will have great scope for growth and development. The experience was very rewarding for me to see my mentee grow and develop in confidence. I am grateful to be able to share my experiences and help my mentee in the ways I was able to. I would definitely sign up again!

Listen to Na’amal’s Executive Director speak about the mentoring programme here.




Na’amal delivers a remote work readiness programme through self-paced asynchronous online modules, virtual interactive workshops, one-to-one mentorship.