Supporting role: Jon Dudgeon and Steven Robinson   

July 18, 2018

Jon Dudgeon co-founded Blu Sky 10 years ago with Dave Gibson. Their aim was to create an innovative Chartered accountancy that was more akin with a dynamic tech company. Two years ago, Steven Robinson joined the North Shields-based firm as financial controller and as part of the firm’s commitment to personal development, Jon has since become his mentor. Here, both describe how the mentorship – usually over coffee – plays out

Jon Dudgeon (pictured)

My role is centred around ensuring our current and future clients are happy and getting the right advice at the right time in the right way. Alongside that, I focus on identifying and recruiting the next generation of accountants while keeping our team happy, engaged and feeling fulfilled in their Blu Sky life.

I met Steven just over two years ago and my first impression was that he was driven, technically aware and ambitious, but that he felt he was under-achieving in the firm he was at.  I also thought he looked and acted like the oldest and wisest millennial I have ever met; I liked that.

My mentoring to Steven is a mix of formal meetings or more informal chats. We mix it up depending on the need and topics under discussion that month.

We delve into a variety of topics loosely centred around career and personal development, approaches and techniques to tackling operational and management issues, self-reflection, work/life balance, the weather and football. You name it, we discuss it. The meeting lasts as long as it needs to.

I think it’s important to have someone in your business life who is there as a sounding board and to offer a different unbiased perspective, who you can learn from, who will challenge you and tell you how it is or is not!  Sometimes your blind spots are the areas you need to work on most, although I am a great believer in playing to your strengths.

Steven is an unbelievable talent and can achieve whatever he sets his mind to.

Steven Robinson

Just over two years ago, I was at a point in my career where I had just qualified as a Chartered accountant and was looking for the next challenge. I wanted a job where I could take ownership of my own progression and development and show a true entrepreneurial flair.

As client financial controller at Blu Sky, I provide a wide range of tech, digital and innovative manufacturing clients with the information around cash and tax they require to help them sleep at night. I make their start-up or scale-up journey that little more exciting from a numbers perspective.

Jon and I work tend to work on a couple of business objective areas at a time. We meet every fortnight in a very informal setting, generally a coffee overlooking the Tyne at North Shields Fish Quay!

Jon has awesome experiences from a corporate history and it’s been great to better understand the wider impact of business decisions and the various methods of both measuring this and implementing new and innovative ideas across the team – all of which I hadn’t and probably wouldn’t have seen in other small firms.

Mentoring can definitely be a mutually beneficial relationship and I’d like to think I’ve taught Jon something too. I approach things with a driven but logical way of thinking and try to communicate in a frank manner to ensure objectives are delivered; I hope some of this has been useful to Jon.

Blu Sky

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