Meet a Mentor
Our pilot programme was supported by the RSA Catalyst Fund.
Session 1: Wednesday 13th April 2016 – 6 - 8.30pm.
Session 2: Wednesday 11th May 2016 – 6 - 8.30pm.
Session 3: Wednesday 15th June 2016 – 6 - 8.30pm.
Session 4: Wednesday 13th July 2016 – 6 - 9.00pm.
SLP Meet a Mentor - Mentor only session:
Mentor Induction session: Thursday 7th April 2016. Induction - 6.30 - 8.30pm.
SLP Meet a Mentor - Mentee only session:
Mentee Information and Recruitment session: Wednesday 30th March 2016 – 6 - 8pm.
Each session was structured to bring our cohort of Mentors from the creative industries and Mentees young aspiring creatives, aged 18-26 together.
The sessions took place at Made by Many who generously allow us to use their space.
Navaz Batliwalla (Fashion Consultant/Blogger)
Georgina Bobb (TV Production Co-ordinator)
Angela Clarke (Author, Playwright, Blogger)
Louisa Tapper (Business Director & Partner, VCCP)
During each session, there is time for the mentee/mentor pair to catch up, general employability skills, a task relevant to creative & digital industries skills, such as coding, pitching, presenting and a Ted type inspirational talk about someone’s journey into their job.
Wednesday 13th April 2016
The first session included a workshop led by Somethin’ Else, advising the mentees on how to hone their CV writing and job application skills. The mentors had an introduction to the programme and to the mentoring role. The mentors and mentees were then introduced and paired together. The evening also featured a talk by Nihal Arthanyake - DJ, Broadcaster, Journalist, on his 20 year journey from young music plugger to now. The talk discussed topics such as mentors along the way, obstacles, top tips, the importance of diversity in the creative industries and changing cultures.
Wednesday 11th May 2016
The second session featured a talk from Centre for London's Jess Tyrrell about the link between the creative and the digital industries. The mentees were then set a digital brief, encouraging them to develop skills as digital innovators. The mentees and mentors were given an opportunity to catch up and discuss their progress. The evening also included a poem, talk and a Q&A with the Young Poet Laureate for London, Selina Nwulu.
Wednesday 15th June 2016
Our third session took place at advertising agency Karmarama and began with an introduction to their company and the work they do. This segued into a talk from one of our mentors and VCCP Business Partner Louisa Tapper, who in keeping with our theme, set an advertising and marketing task for the group encouraging them to work in teams & think about how they might work to a client brief and to hone their skills as creative thinkers. The mentors and mentees had the opportunity to catch up before an inspirational guest talk by Cathy Runciman, acting CEO at Open Democracy & co-founder of Atlas of the Future. The title of her talk was 'creating something from nothing' and documented Cathy's unconventional & exciting route into working in media & publishing. Cathy's advice was to 'say yes', seize opportunities & definitely not be scared to take risks however at the same time advocating for the importance of a good work ethic, hard work and getting to know your trade, well. A lively Q& A ensued. Many thanks to Louisa, Cathy and to Karmarama for generously providing the space for our session.
Wednesday 13th July 2016
Image by Emilie Dubois
The final session was hosted at Made by Many and the evening began with a presentation about Made by Many's unique approach to the work they do. This fed into a workshop on a step by step approach to creative problem solving. The mentors and mentees were paired together, which gave them a chance to catch up and to understand each other's problems and perspectives. The workshop focused on understanding and identifying real life problems and collaborating to find innovative solutions. This task encouraged the group to work together, think big and not be wedded to finding one solution when solving problems. The guest speaker for the evening, Phil Kemish CEO of Disrupt Media, titled his talk 'How making mistakes can turn out to be great’. Phil's honest and interactive talk, we were all involved and invited to chip in, charted his career from Southampton school day's to becoming co-owner of GRM Daily and co-founding Disrupt. He talked about the things that didn’t go so well, which then propelled him to try again and turn things around. He framed it through a selection of 'Recipe's' that advised the group to learn from mistakes, take chances, think, be bold, brave and collaborative but never defensive. Phill ended on how important it is for him and Disrupt to make something that is 'culturally relevant’. The evening ended with a Q&A and a wrap up of the programme.
“It was structured really well and there was a really nice atmosphere throughout - informal but focused. It is clear most of the mentors and mentees already have really strong relationships. Moreover, from my point-of-view as a sociologist of inequality I think the whole initiative provides a really good example of how to tackle the kind of issues we have uncovered in terms of those from working-class backgrounds failing to progress as quickly in the professions. In particular, mentors seem key agents in demystifying the process of career progression, giving practical steps on how to navigate from A to B to... etc, arming early-career professionals with the kind of tacit knowledge about how to get ahead (normally only available to the privileged), and most of all providing an important form of emotional support to prevent people dropping out early.”
- Dr Sam Friedman
Assistant Professor in Sociology, London School of Economics