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My experience of mentoring students in Birmingham
For those of you who don’t know me yet, I’m Rickie Josen, and today I’d like to share with you my experience of mentoring students in Birmingham…
I’m asked to mentor a University of Birmingham student in the summer at which time things are generally quieter for me. Schools and colleges are mostly unavailable and the business world is enjoying a succession of holidays. So my life consists mainly of writing which is no bad thing.
It’s in this joyous state of mind that I readily agree to mentoring; I always say what’s the point of having knowledge other than to share it.
Cut to October, six months of event planning take me on a road show around the country for the FutureChef Local Finals with ‘millions’ of last minute changes. This is a programme to encourage a passion for cooking amongst 12-14 year olds. At the same time, I’m knee deep in planning the Regional Finals whilst enduring 3 hour drives, 6am starts and 10pm finishes not mentioning finding an (in-kind) venue for a new annual fundraiser. So this is when the mentoring starts.
Despite being given TWO students to mentor rather than the agreed one, I love meeting these bright, capable young ladies. Just the fact that they have enlisted on the mentoring programme says they are going places.
Mentee number one is Jemima who is switching from marketing to psychology and when you think about it, they are not too different.
She has a huge interest in drama and having tried her hand at setting up a community drama club, is now meeting with the chap that runs Identity Drama School in London (the UK’s first Black drama school) as he wants to set one up in Birmingham. I’m completely enthralled at how laid back Jemima is about being asked to undertake the marketing task for this exciting new venture. We discuss her plan for approaching colleges, schools and youth centres and to embark on delivering talks to students interested in joining Identity, which will operate from the Birmingham Hippodrome.
Like other drama schools, this will be a springboard into acting for some of the Birmingham’s bright, young acting stars; all the extra’s in TV and film have to come from somewhere.
Next time, I look forward to introducing you to mentee number two, Amita who is setting up a charity community project connecting the old with the young.