Akram is studying his A Levels, in Psychology, Geography and Government and Politics. He was 16 and living at home when he became involved in Mosaic mentoring. In his spare time he enjoys going to the gym, playing football, going to the cinema and socialising. He had no prior mentoring experience.
The programme was recommended to Akram by his teacher, who encouraged him to join. Prior to that, Akram “had heard about all of the opportunities and positive stuff” associated with Mosaic mentoring. Akram chose to get involved, in order to meet more people across the school and to “contribute myself more to the school community”.
“The idea that I could interact more with other students in and around the school and those who are in my year – because a lot of people, a lot of group discussions I have had within the group, I didn’t have the opportunity outside the mentoring, so it allowed me to know more people.”
The mentoring group initially met at the school library, where the group met six mentors from different professions, and were each allocated one. Akram says: “I thought he [my mentor] was a really nice mentor. I got to know a little bit about him”. Akram’s mentor worked for a recruitment company, and Akram says “[he] told us a little bit about himself and his work and how it is his job to recruit people into certain businesses in certain fields”.
Despite being confident, Akram says: “The very first meeting I felt a bit awkward as I didn’t know some of the students…I knew a little bit about them but I didn’t know more about them, but as soon as the weeks go by and we had more interactions and conversations I began to know more about them.”
Akram was mentored in a group of four, in meetings that took place every Wednesday after school. The sessions were organised into different groups, in order to explore different approaches to group discussion and learning, Akram explained that they explored different learning styles, “for instance the learning styles that we did during our own time were visual or auditory or kinesthetic etc”.
Akram’s experience of the Mosaic mentoring programme helped him to consider his future: “it made me realise that doing my current position I should keep going to work further towards my goals and aspirations”. His mentor helped with public speaking and “how we can better ourselves in terms of our motivation”.
When reflecting on the impact of the mentoring programme, Akram credits it with giving him the opportunity to learn more about professional options, and how to achieve them. He noted that the greatest benefit of the programme was to encourage him to think about what he would like to do in the future, and to “put some time into what I would like to do”. As part of the programme Akram visited an accountancy firm:
“Me and a couple of individuals were luckily chosen at random to take part in this exciting workshop in which [we] learned about the idea of accountancy firms and the whole idea of skills and work.”
He also secured a work placement with solicitors:
“My mentor knew someone who worked in a solicitor’s workplace, so linking to what I might want to be when I am older I went to work at a place called Sarason’s Solicitors.”
Akram stated that he thought accountancy was a good profession and that going to the firm “made me realise of the extent of what professional have to go through on a daily basis”. He thinks he would like to work in a solicitor’s firm when he finishes education.