We are delighted to reveal that the Mosaic Hero of the Month for February 2015 is Mike Harvey.
Mike Harvey has mentored in three schools in Surrey for the Enterprise Challenge. He is currently also mentoring on our Secondary Programme, is always willing to help and go the extra mile.
Mike has been a mentor for the past three years and is super organised, keeps everyone in the loop and prepares comprehensively for each session. It’s obvious from his mentoring sessions that his primary focus is always the students.
A fellow mentor who worked with him had this to say:
“It was great to work with Mike, especially as it was my first mentoring experience and I could greatly benefit from Mike’s experience and ideas.
“Mike is easy to work with and I enjoyed the preparation for each session with him, when we were playing with different ideas and always easily could agree on activities.”
Mike is incredibly easy to work with and always willing to take the lead in mentoring sessions. He is a confident individual with decades of business experience, approachable and also great fun to work with too.
What programme have you been mentoring on?
Enterprise Challenge and the Secondary Schools Programme.
What school did you mentor in?
For the enterprise challenge – Fullbrook School, Bishop David Brown & Gordons School (Woking Area).
Secondary School Programme – Lord Knyvett in Ashford.
How long have you been volunteering as a Mosaic mentor for?
What motivated you to want to become a mentor?
I’ve run my own business (with reasonable success) for the past 30 years.
I was considering putting in fewer hours with the business and thinking what I might do with my time and experience when I received an email from Woking Chamber of Commerce about mentoring with Mosaic and seeking volunteers – the rest, as they say, is history.
Please tell us about a particular rewarding or special experience you have had as a mentor?
On the enterprise Challenge. Seeing the team you’ve worked with compete at the semi-finals and give a faultless presentation on the business plan they have researched in front of the judges (not to mention 50 or more complete strangers) is very rewarding.
On the Secondary School Programme. A session with a group of year 9 students. The question asked was ‘What would you need to climb the mountain tomorrow?’. From everyone (including the Mentors) there were suggestions about practical items when a very quiet student suddenly said ‘Confidence & Ambition’ that summed it up.
It just makes the time and effort worthwhile.
What have you learned from your time as a mentor?
Never underestimate your students. They all have the capacity to succeed and excel, you just have to find the spark and that’s easier with some than others, but that’s what mentoring’s about.
What have you found challenging about mentoring?
Sometimes getting a balance within the group, the more confident students can easily take over a topic leaving the quieter, less confident students out.
As a Mentor you need to take care to get this balance right within the group without upsetting the relationship you are building with the students.
And what do you do when you’re not volunteering?
I still have a company to run, if only part time. But I enjoy travel, my garden and family.
Would you recommend being a Mosaic mentor to others?
What makes a good mentor?
Firstly planning, you have to be organised. Students will very quickly pick up that you are not, you need to spend time preparing the session and topics or you will rapidly lose their attention.
We only have a very short time with students to make an impact. A good mentor must be able to listen as well as speak confidently, bring personal and life experiences to a topic – education, employment etc. and make it live for them.
How do you feel about receiving the Hero of the Month Award?
Surprised and delighted, it is nice to be recognised, but mentoring is a team effort.
If there was only one piece of advice you could give to a young person to achieve success, what would that be?
In just one piece – I would say ‘believe in yourself and what you can achieve, then when you do achieve your goal remember to encourage others to do so’.
Any other personal reflections?
Mentoring is described as ‘A conversation with a purpose’, whatever I am doing with the students I try to keep this in mind.