Trying to remember where I was in high school and looking at where I am now, one of the only things I can see with a certain degree of clarity is how much of an impact Mosaic has had on my life.
This is my Mosaic journey….
Since childhood all I can remember was that when I ‘got big’ I wanted to do something that helped people. Coming from a West Asian, Arab family this of course meant… medicine. From a young age I was never really inspired to do anything else. In retrospect the excessive encouragement and motivation I received from my family and friends only blinkered my vision in terms of career options. It was only in the later years of high school did I finally see and come to understand that actually, there were options… and the decision was 100% in my hands!
I went to the Crest Boys Academy, once known as the not so great John Kelly Boys School. ‘Not so great’ being an understatement of the notorious reputation the school had. Riddled with students who had fled wars, poverty and couldn’t even speak the native language, under privileged was a title most fitting for the school’s student demographic. However, for me the ‘under privileged’ soon changed… It was in year nine that I was approached by miss ‘that grumpy teacher with the frizzy hair’ who turned out to be the god send that brought me word of a new programme that involved trips and free snacks at meetings. She said Mosaic would inspire and inspire me it did! It was the secondary school mentoring programme that put me in contact with city professionals (the successful kind) that showed me that I could actually become a success at anything. The program I remember continued through my GCSE’s and we would have various motivational workshops every few months.
The mentors came from different walks of life and I had the opportunity to talk to all of them. An experience students hardly get at university let alone high school. I spoke to many different successful, inspirational characters, but two in particular wowed me. Two Asian guys; Top notch solicitors, working in one of the BIGGEST international commercial law firms (SNR Denton- now I think it’s just Dentons). The one we had the opportunity to visit thanks to mosaic. I liked what they had to say and later said to myself I want to be like them and that night I went home and broke the news to my mum and dad. I left high school to go on to college, leaving the mentoring behind but I felt so genuinely privileged to experience such an incredible programme. It left me open minded and motivated me to simply achieve, work to fulfil my dreams and ambitions the world being my oyster.
At college, Easter of 2010, I needed to choose which career path I wanted to assume. Unsure, but with a vague idea that I wanted to study law, I visited the website of the firm I had visited and looked through their staff list and I found my mentors’ contact details. I emailed them, asking if they could perhaps give me some work or shadowing experience, and I was pleasantly surprised when I was welcomed with open arms! Mosaic had given me my first placement and thanks to this placement I decided that I definitely wanted to pursue a career in law. Throughout my university application process, choosing the right law course and university; my mentors were there to advise and help me.
I am now coming to the end of my first year of doing LLB Law course at the University of Westminster. Mosaic, during the year with another incredible city firm, organised a legal ambassador’s programme. Something I jumped at the opportunity of being part of. I heard of the 3 day programme through the university’s event ‘update’ email. My mentors during the legal ambassador’s programme where the brilliant Edwin Coe LLP Solicitors; Zahira Hussain, Amir Ali and Partner Ali Zaidi. Partaking in a three day experience, hosted by Edwin Coe LLP educated me on how to practically approach a career after gaining a degree in law. From fine tuning resumes and adding finesse to my pre-existing ability to write proficiently, to aiding me how to tackle both the simple and complex arising questions faced when approaching the professional field of law. Some of my many plans for the future include; Graduating with no less than a 2:1 before continuing on to do either the LPC or the Bar, seeing more of the beautiful world we live in and eventually, as important as my academia and career is to me, I would like to start a family.
The importance of mentoring to me? It educated me; I was ignorant of the professional world around me but Mosaic changed that. Thank You.
“Education is the progressive discovery of our ignorance”…. Will Durant