Mosaic is delighted to announce Sarah Owen as our Hero of the Month for January 2016.
Sarah has been a Mosaic Enterprise Challenge mentor since 2013, first at Perryfields High School and then Kings Heath Boys School for the last three years.
We asked her about her mentoring experiences with Mosaic.
What motivated you to want to become a mentor?
I became a mentor to share my experiences and to inspire others to do their best. A programme like this is a fantastic opportunity for mentors and mentees, and I didn’t want to pass it by! I only wish my secondary school had something similar when I attended.
Please tell us about a particular rewarding or special experience you have had as a mentor?
The most rewarding experience is when you see a change in a student’s engagement level, or when you see something click. You can spend weeks trying to explain various business principles and levers, and then all of a sudden you’ll get through and the students really engage when they can see results.
What have you learned from your time as a mentor?
I feel like I’ve learnt so much, not just about mentoring but about myself too. I’ve learnt to be patient, and to tailor the way I speak to the students. Listening to the students and communicating effectively is really key to mentoring. I’ve also realised just how much I love mentoring, it really is such a rewarding experience.
What have you found challenging about mentoring?
The part I found most challenging was the first lesson when I was stood in front of 25 Year 9 students trying to explain ethics! Each year the first lesson is always terrifying, but I’ve had a fantastic link teacher every year who has a huge amount of respect from the students so it was always a great experience for me.
And what do you do when you’re not volunteering?
I’m a full time Finance Manager, and also manage a school leaver apprenticeship scheme within my organisation.
Would you recommend being a Mosaic mentor to others?
I would absolutely recommend (and do so all the time) being a Mosaic mentor, it’s such a good opportunity not just to give something back, but to enhance your own skill set.
What makes a good mentor?
I think to be a good mentor you need to be a good listener, patient and ask thought provoking questions. You also need to be committed – and see the programme through.
How do you feel about receiving the Hero of the Month Award?
I feel really honoured to be receiving this award, but don’t really feel like I deserve it! The link teachers, all the mentors, the regional managers and all the support staff make Mosaic the success that it is!!
I’ve really loved mentoring on the programme, it’s been an absolute pleasure. So thank you to Andre at Kings Heath Boys, Becky and Annalisa from Mosaic, and all my fellow mentors!!
If there was only one piece of advice you could give to a young person to achieve success, what would that be?
To be the best that you can be, and to really use the resources and support network that you have around you.