Meet a Mentor assistant and AND Alumnus, Kimberley Nyamhondera gives us a roundup of round 2

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The pilot Meet a Mentor programme ended on such a high with 5 of the mentees gaining work experience roles in different companies within the creative industries.

It was particularly pertinent to me, as through the network of mentors and mentees on the programme, I’d managed to secure work experience with Tech City UK. This pretty much solidified my interest in tech and my idea of what I wanted to pursue at a time when I could only meet the question of my future with a blank stare and a bubbling feeling of nerves in the pit of my stomach.

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Re-launching phase 2 off the back of this success was exciting. Not only did the pilot prove the ethos of the programme but for a Hackney girl who was attempting to carve out a path so different and so unapproved of by her parents, it was important to launch a second programme to show that we weren’t another programme parroting buzzwords and that the mentees taking part in the programmes weren’t wading through the unknown but adding to a complete U-Haul of the industry norms and standards.

However, the course of the second programme made it clear how different it was proving itself to be from the first one. It was less and less about WHO, WHAT or WHERE people were finding roles within the creative industries. The programme shaped up to look into the HOW. How are you finding having to navigate this new career landscape? How is your general wellbeing? How can we help?

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In this newfound job climate where we’re striving, surviving and side hustling, we tend to neglect that need to talk to someone about what we’re feeling. Support from your friends and family is great. But having a core group of people you can come to month in and month out and speak without judgement or reserve is exactly what is needed to thrive in your career.

The quantifiable results of the programme showed that a further 3 more mentees gained work experience and/or internships within the creative industries. More importantly, mentors and mentees built relationships that will last long after the end of the programme. Mentees remarked that they learnt more about themselves as professionals by bouncing ideas off of each other and being given the space to speak freely to others.

We’re carving out careers that are so different to the traditional and established roles of our parents, and programmes like Meet a Mentor do more than meet quotas. Meet a Mentor creates a space that wipes the gloss off of our expectations and deals with the reality of carving out your own career.

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