Recently former mentee Usman Akthar returned to Mosaic to share his Mosaic journey and experience with the Enterprise Challenge programme as speaker at the Mosaic Yorkshire Connect event this summer – calling for the importance of mentors in helping to invoke young people to believe in themselves to be the best they can be.
Usman Akhtar. Student head boy at Dixons Kings Academy and a Mosaic Enterprise Challenge mentee. In 2017, his team did extremely well in the competition coming second place nationally, and winning £2000 for their school. “I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for the support and guidance of my two mentors who contributed so much to helping me understand the world of business, whilst also teaching me vital life skills such as talking in front of a large audiences.”
During the Mosaic program, Usman, alongside other students, played an online business simulation game that put all their business acumen to the test. “The game made us choose a product and we had to make certain decisions such as the price, to try get the most sales within a timeframe of 3 years. It tested our analytical skills. It tested our patience. It tested our collaboration. We worked diligently for a whole day to try and beat competing teams, until we reached a huge score of £7 million. This was a huge stepping stone for us as after this we were selected to go represent our school in the Regional Finals where we by far had the best idea, pitch and persona.”
Their business idea, which they called ELECTROFIT was to create an electricity-generating gym that provided energy for the school, which saved them money, but also helped the students to get fit – ‘Power Your Body, Power Your School!’
After winning at the regionals we went through to the National Grand Finals representing Yorkshire in London in front of an audience of 200+ important people. After weeks of gruelling practice, the time came to present our idea, in front of other fellow students from all over the country.
Unfortunately, Usman’s team narrowly lost out being crowned National Champions, but were praised not only by the staff from the victors, but also the judges, audience and guest speaker Levi Roots for their sophisticated and professional approach to the challenge and pitch.
It may seem as if our success came solely from the diligence of the team, but really it was also the dedication of our mentors Aamir and Mr Khan. They opened our minds and encouraged us to do the best, to be the best and sincerely I would like to thank them for making a positive change not only in our team but in my life. After working with Amir and seeing his success in HMRC it showed me that you do not have to be from the best cities in the country to aspire to be great or do great things but in fact have a growth mind-set as he is from the same background as many of the students at DKA and was brought up in the same culture I was. So, to say I cannot go onto be a politician would be limiting my chances of success as Amir is a proven example that our background should not hinder us when making decisions regarding our career prospects.
For Usman, “the Mosaic mentoring programme has been amazing to me. It taught me key skills such as professionalism; confidence and most importantly that I can aspire to be anything – even a politician.” The mentoring scheme has encouraged him and others alike so much, that in the future he would like to be a part of the scheme to help students boost their confidence and encourage them to aim higher.
The mentoring programme will allow me to give back to the community. We wanted people to ‘Power Your Body and Power Your School’, now I’m asking you to empower your community by sharing your expertise to guide young, ambitious teenagers like me.
More information about how you can sign up to be a mentor here.