Hosted at Reading Room was our second Meet a Mentor session. Reading Room is an agency that creates digital content and consultation for clients like Skoda, The Royal Family and Arts Council, their specialism is design and technology. I only realised upon arriving that my mentor, Adam Sefton, is Head of Strategy at this agency. It was great to be in his place of work and to see him perched on his desk as it gave me more of an insight into what he does.
We picked up from where we left off at our first meet up where Adam helped me focus on the primary area I want to tackle and work on first, which is writing and how to improve my copywriting skills. He gave me direction on what makes good copy and introduced me to the different options for being a freelance writer and gave me some top tips. (When Adam isn’t heading up strategy at Reading Room, he is also a keen freelance writer himself). Adam also generously handed me his own copy of Hegarty on Advertising and some copies of The Drum magazine. All are very much appreciated and continue to be an enjoyable but educated read. It’s all relevant to what I want to achieve and has reignited my passion for copywriting.
Meet a Mentor, of course, is not without its practical component — get you of your comfort zone skills sessions. — Introducing the task was Hannah Lury, Client Services Director at Somethin’ Else. She introduced the Do’s and Don’ts of best practise pitching and then tasked us with presenting one ourselves in groups. I was quite nervous about pitching but it became entertaining. I learnt a lot about the process such as coming up with your own ‘grab’ — basically how to grab your audience’s attention with one line/key idea.
The session concluded with Antonia Odunlami. Her mentor Nikita Chauhan, an award winning presenter and radio producer, interviewed her. In addition to being an aspiring radio producer, Antonia is music editor at the very successful gal-dem collective and online magazine. She is also a fellow mentee on the programme. This goes to show how much of an impact Meet a Mentor can be for anyone at any level.
I’m still quite new to A New Direction but I’m glad I joined the Meet a Mentor programme. I’ve enjoyed listening to the mentee’s aspirations and being around creative people. I’ve also enjoyed hearing the journeys of the industry professionals who come to talk. You start to think, “Hey, that could be me soon…”
It’s a wonderfully, terrifying thought.