Mosaic is delighted to announce Arron Dougan as the joint winner of our Hero of the Month for October 2016 along with Christopher Robinson. Arron and Christopher are colleagues at Leeds KPMG.
Aaron has mentored for a year in the secondary school programme at Swallow Hill Community College and more recently Ruth Gorse Academy, both situated in Leeds.
We asked Arron about his mentoring experiences with Mosaic.
What motivated you to want to become a mentor?
I have always enjoyed aspects of teaching/mentoring and Mosaic gave me the opportunity to do so, also I believe that a child’s chance of success should not be defined by their socio-economic background.
Why did you feel it was important to open up the opportunity to your colleagues?
Mentoring was an incredibly rewarding experience at Swallow Hill Community college, seeing the development throughout the mentees as the programme progressed was incredibly rewarding. Following on from this myself and Chris recruited a 12 strong team within the Leeds KPMG office who have begun mentoring at Ruth Gorse Academy in Leeds this academic year. We are also looking forward to hosting the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge regional finals in our Leeds office in March.
Please tell us about a particular rewarding or special experience you have had as a mentor?
I’d say the most rewarding experience was when I had the opportunity to attend the regional Princes Trust Celebrate Success awards. Hearing the stories of young-adults who have overcome true hardship to achieve success was a truly humbling experience.
What have you learned from your time as a mentor?
From my time as a mentor I have learnt that the most effective sessions are often the most interactive, I have definitely took this back to the office, which enables me to ensure meetings are to the point and certainly not boring!
What have you found challenging about mentoring?
I’d say the most difficult thing about mentoring is catering to the vast range of abilities in the classroom, sometimes you have to take a step back and recalibrate your approach to ensure students of all abilities are engaged.
And what do you do when you’re not volunteering?
When I’m not volunteering I am a Technology Solutions Analyst currently on placement within an IT Service Delivery team. I am also a volunteer Army Reservist.
Would you recommend being a Mosaic mentor to others?
Absolutely, it is a great way to stretch and expand your skills and most importantly make a difference in the mentees lives!
What makes a good mentor?
In short, being a good mentor is all about being able to listen. It also helps to be approachable and friendly to the group of students who are looking for something different than a normal lesson!
How do you feel about receiving the Hero of the Month Award?
I never would have thought when we signed up just over a year ago we would have come this far! It’s a great honour to know that we are making an impact on such a brilliant initiative.
If there was only one piece of advice you could give to a young person to achieve success, what would that be?
Throughout my life I’ve learnt that the greatest critic has always been myself, over time I have managed to never let myself believe I wasn’t capable of doing anything. My greatest piece of advice would be always believe in yourself, you will be surprised at what you are capable of!!