Mentoring: giving skills back
Blessing Raimi, Junior Content Designer:
- Why I chose to be a mentor
- The importance of sharing skills
I graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2019 and have been a member of the Conscious Communications team ever since, gaining a string of valuable skills along the way that I wouldn’t have considered when I was a student. It is because of this that I felt it was important to share my experiences and skills with students to help with their development as they look to life post university. From my experience, I know it can be helpful to have someone to reassure them about the process, which can be so daunting, and point them towards resources that are available for them.
Back when I was a student, I know it would have really benefited me if I had been able to seek mentorship from alumni who had studied a similar course to me and had experience with the career path I was considering to pursue after finishing my studies. During my time at university, I was extremely grateful for the support I received from the employability team and my lecturers regarding my CV, portfolio and pursuing opportunities. I think that speaking with alumni who had recent similar experiences would have enhanced this as they can relate on a closer level and give advice in a way that is approachable and relatable.
I signed up for the Anglia Ruskin University Mentorship Programme last year, which I discovered through the alumni network. I provided details about what I studied and what my current career path is and was given an induction by staff; soon enough I was paired with a student who felt my profile fit what they were looking for.
We had five meetings in total, where the student came armed with wonderful questions about how to enhance their portfolio, CV, social media presence and applications to boost future career prospects. They were also curious about the potential career paths available after graduation and what it is like to work as a graphic designer. It was a very enjoyable experience and the student was well prepared for each session, took my feedback on board and continued to fine-tune their applications. In our final meeting, my mentee and I had a review of how the meetings went and what was gained from them. We plan to stay in touch if they need further advice.
Taking part in the mentorship programme has been extremely rewarding and I look forward to mentoring students in the future as a volunteer, when the opportunity arises again.