Having run my own export company for 30 years I made the decision to put in less hours with the business. I then started thinking what I might do with my time and experience when I received an email from our local chamber of commerce seeking mentors for the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge.
Little did I realise quite what a journey it was going to take me on. I have had the pleasure of working in different programmes in five or six schools, with some great students, staff and fellow mentors.
Then there are memorable moments, on the Enterprise Challenge, the competitive edge amongst the mentors over “just how many millions profit ‘their’ team (of the moment) are making”. Or having practiced the game themselves at home and announcing their profit in class, being crushed by a small boy saying “ONLY 3 million sir”.
But it’s about the mentees, the passing of our experience gained in life and business. We only have a very short time with students to make an impact. A 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.
Mentoring is described as “a conversation with a purpose” and whatever I am doing with the students I try to keep this in mind.
Students today enter a very different world from when I left school. Jobs were a lot easier to obtain but we certainly didn’t have the guidance and mentor support available today . I sometimes wonder what direction my life would have taken if I had, but then I may not have mentored with Mosaic!
Mentoring is now in the family. I’m quite chuffed that my daughter Frances is now mentoring in the primary programme.
I look forward to mentoring in the coming year, if they’ll have me back!
Mosaic Enterprise Challenge and Secondary School Programme Mentor
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Mentoring can be very rewarding and helps to develop invaluable personal and professional skills.
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