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“I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how quickly I’ve taken to mentoring and how easy it’s been to incorporate into my life.”

A core pillar of the SMF’s Aspiring Professionals Programme is e-mentoring, where students are matched with a professional who works in the career or sector the student would like to enter.

We asked one of our mentoring pairs, Catherine and Safah, about their first impressions of each other, and the programme. Here’s what they had to say:

Catherine on Safah…mentoring-blog-november-16

Earlier this year I signed up to become a Social Mobility Foundation mentor and was matched with Safah, a 17-year-old student from East London.

I enjoy mentoring and a large part of this is down to the Foundation’s excellent match; like me, Safah is interested in journalism, politics and social equality. Safah is super-bright and enthusiastic – great assets for a future communications professional!

So far we’ve covered topics including university options, the best ways to present yourself professionally and developing networking skills.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how quickly I’ve taken to mentoring and how easy it’s been to incorporate into my life. Safah and I communicate by email roughly once a fortnight and we’ve got optional face-to-face meetings throughout the year too. I always look forward to hearing from her and it’s great to feel that you’re helping someone to fulfil their potential.

Safah on Catherine…

The mentoring scheme so far has been brilliant. Catherine and I have been emailing back and forth about university applications and preparing for an internship I had in July through the SMF.

It’s been amazing to be put in contact with professionals who have studied or are currently studying at universities I’m considering, as well as hearing the experiences of other professionals who have taken the same degree I’m applying for.

Meeting Catherine face-to-face in the summer was also a great learning experience; Catherine introduced me to a few people at the event and gave me the chance to practise my networking skills and improve my confidence. It’s wonderful to have a mentor who can work with you on specific areas you want to develop in!

If you are interested in mentoring an SMF student in 2017, you can sign up here!

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