I haven't ever done mentoring before and I've absolutely loved it. It's easy when you've got a lovely man like Mark to chat to every week. It's been great and very eye-opening for me in lots of ways. The mentor training sessions that CMN ran were great as well - it was really good to share the experience with the other mentors as there's quite a lot of commonality that comes out between people.
Jasper - I've learnt that this is a massively two-way process. It is it gives you a different perspective on your own work. It's very easy, I think, when you work in the creative industries and your a middle class white man to think everyone shares the same views and you end up advertising to yourself. Having a fresh younger perspective on stuff has been really interesting to me. If I've got Mark to road test ideas on then I'm sorted.
I've never done anything like this and it's pretty cool having Jasper to talk to - he's a cool guy, he's not one of those tense business people you see. He's helpful and we chat. His company is a big place but it's really cool. He gave me the tour and introduced me to everyone. This experience has really helped me with shaping what I want to do - when I went into it I didn't know at all. I was wondering if I should do Computer Science or Business or do Philosophy, because those are the subjects I do for A-Level. This has shown me that I can use all of those things in the creative world of work.
Normally we meet once every week or two and we have a chat about what Rasheka's up to – if she's applying for something then we go through that application. We also talk about the industry as a whole and what different jobs there are. I remember when I was at school the different roles in the creative industry weren't really talked about.
I applied for CMN because I don't want to be poor. I apply for five things each week because you don't know what could come from it. Vicky took time out to talk to me. I did some production work experience and from that I've learned how to use certain software! I met a lot of people and added them on my LinkedIn and started to grow my network. I still don't know what I want to do for a career yet though!
One of the main things I got out of this was confidence. Now I find myself a lot more comfortable talking to people that I don't know and making connections, and I feel confident enough to share ideas with people I wouldn't usually feel comfortable with. Tom's really helped practice how to communicate properly.
Before I did CMN I just wanted to get more information on the industry. Now I realise I really want to do Creative Producing. I've met so many people who work in different areas - my mentor is really nice and has introduced me to loads of people who have roles that I didn't even know existed. It's crazy! I went to a photo shoot and they were doing six pictures for Instagram and it took two days. The attention to detail is amazing.
I like to be very organised and can be a bit of a neat freak with everything I do. I love organising things for my friends and I didn't realise there was a job out there that I could use this for. The creative side put together with planning, it's in my DNA to be like that and I've found out I can do it as a career and there's money in it!
At school you get taught that a career is doctor, engineer, lawyer... all the basics but you don't get taught what you can do on the creative side. People see that as a hobby!
I used to mentor people with disabilities when I was at universities and I wanted to do mentoring again. Since Rapha was offering CMN, I got on board. I have no other responsibilities. I have no children, I haven't got any younger brothers or sisters, both my parents are healthy... I'm a free bird so it's nice to have somebody that I can pass on some advice to. I really enjoyed working on things like being better at sending emails - the stuff that doesn't ever get taught but is so important when you're working.
Harry - Personally I really enjoyed connecting with a young person again. With someone who was the equivalent of me but 10 years younger. It's such a terrifying thing having to know what you want to do - they're told that exams are so important, but ultimately whatever happens, happens. So it's really great to try and take the stress off a bit.
I initially just had my eye on doing fashion design but I've now found that there are so many more options out there that I can look into. I learned so much compared to what I would at school – things like how the production line works and getting information just through meeting people Sophie introduced me to.