Mosaic is delighted to announce Christopher Robinson as the joint winner of our Hero of the Month for October 2016 along with Arron Dougan. Christopher and Arron are colleagues at Leeds KPMG.
Christopher 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 Christopher about his mentoring experiences with Mosaic.
What motivated you to want to become a mentor?
I have always enjoyed working with younger people and Mosaic provided an opportunity to continue to do this alongside my job. I have only recently left University myself and so I feel I can strongly relate to the pupils and their way of thinking. More importantly though, I think it is very important for all young people to be given opportunities to speak to people outside of their world and to be able to ask questions that they otherwise may not be able to find answers to.
Why did you feel it was important to open up the opportunity to your colleagues?
When I first joined in KPMG in October 2015, I knew that I was working alongside lots of good people with diverse backgrounds and interesting stories. Not only were colleagues keen to get involved, but we all knew that together it would make for an even more interesting and meaningful experience for the pupils we would be mentoring.
Please tell us about a particular rewarding or special experience you have had as a mentor?
At Mosaic’s end of year event in July, pupils we had mentored from Swallow Hill Community College performed in front of a large audience consisting of pupils, parents and mentors alike. It was pleasing to see the pupils outside of the classroom, demonstrating their talents. Seeing them do it with such confidence though, was highly rewarding.
What have you learned from your time as a mentor?
Working with younger people is great fun and that everybody should have an opportunity to fulfil their potential. Mentoring has helped to further develop my communication skills and given me the opportunity to manage KPMG’s team of mentors. It’s also encouraging to know that I am working with lots of people who are keen to help others.
What have you found challenging about mentoring?
Understanding what constitutes a ‘good’ mentoring session and working out the most effective way to deliver to each session. I’d like to think that this is something that has improved since I’ve been volunteering with Mosaic. I find it useful to put myself in the mentees position and ask “what would I want to gain from this?”.
And what do you do when you’re not volunteering?
I enjoy playing football and badminton. I also do as much Ballroom and Latin dancing as I can; it’s something I have done for over ten years now. Any spare time I have is spent laughing, eating and drinking with my friends and family – I like to be busy!
Would you recommend being a Mosaic mentor to others?
Definitely! It’s been an exciting challenge and all of the support is in place to help us make it a success; Leah and Ed are fantastic!
What makes a good mentor?
Somebody who is understanding, enthusiastic and wants to help others to learn.
How do you feel about receiving the Hero of the Month Award?
I’m very proud to have won the award because I know how many good people there are who work with Mosaic across the country. It’s really pleasing to know that our whole KPMG team is making a difference.
If there was only one piece of advice you could give to a young person to achieve success, what would that be?
Always do something that you enjoy and once you have found it, never give up.