An insider account of Meet a Mentor 4
One of our brilliant mentees, Mary Bada details what happens during Meet a Mentor sessions, from the first meeting to discussions during sessions.
I came to know about Meet a Mentor through a friend who was previously on the same programme. She knew I was trying to break into the marketing industry but I struggled to find work and gain relevant experience to secure a marketing role. After years of job hunting and rejections of (let's say) hundreds of applications, I knew Meet a Mentor would be a great stepping stone to connect with people already in the industry, develop business skills and find a mentor who would help me achieve my goals.
I can vividly remember the first Meet a Mentor session when the lovely Fran Plowright, founder of Meet a Mentor, gave a short background about Create Jobs and about the Meet a Mentor programme. A sense of joy came over me – after months of hunting for a mentor, I finally found what I was looking for.
We were asked to write down our goals for the year and what we wanted to achieve whilst on the programme and these were shared with our mentors. Fran had encouraged us by saying that if we do not meet our goals by the end of the programme, not be discouraged, keep on working on them and ensured us that we have a great support around us, to help us eventually achieve them.
I remember being nervous and excited at the same time meeting my mentor, who had years worth of experience working in the country’s top agencies and with world-class brands. The amazing Elizabeth Vince, Creative Industry Manager at Google. We clicked from the beginning and Elizabeth was very warm-hearted. We went through my goals straight away looking at ways we could make our time on the mentoring programme as useful as possible. There were four sessions in total over a four-month period but my mentor and I made sure we met up at least once before each session.
During my time on the Meet a Mentor programme, my mentor and I covered a wide range of topics from improving my CV and cover letters; job application support; latest marketing trends; strategic planning; relevant marketing skills as well as soft and hard skills. We agreed to scheduled meetings at the trendy Google office - it doesn’t get any better than that!
As well as having our one to one sessions, we had group sessions with amazing speakers from different creative backgrounds who gave short presentations about advice and tips on how to be effective in the industry. The perks of being a mentee included visiting chic offices with amazing floor plans and architecture. I wouldn’t mind having a 9 to 5 in these offices if I do say so myself.
Most importantly, at these offices we covered topics such as diversity in the workplace and a lack of jobs for young creatives in and outside of London. Many of us, agreed that there is a lack of inclusion in the creative and tech industry but it was nice to see that there were people who are in these workplaces that are pushing for a change.
Just by being on this programme, I have had so many great opportunities. I have secured a scholarship for a Digital Marketing course. I was privileged to speak at Google in front of 50 employees about the lack of jobs and training that are given to young creatives. I have met amazing people who work in the industry and by the end of the programme I achieved 4 out 6 of my goals.
"I can honestly say, that I am not the same person I was before I started the programme."
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