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What we learnt from mentoring

We took part in a mentoring and leadership programme, to help with young and diverse talent making their way into the creative industry.
4th July 2019
Jessica Richards

Why we signed up

As an agency we’re always looking to develop and move forward, but we believe this relies heavily on a diverse team, whether that’s different ages or cultural backgrounds. When we heard about the Creative Mentor Network we saw the opportunity to get involved and start making a difference and encouraging more people to be part of the creative world. 

Our Co-Founder Rich Brassett signed up and completed the 16 week course, mentoring Jordan who was at the end of his first year of A Levels looking to move into a career in AI.

 

What the course covered

We started by exploring Jordan’s goals and what he wanted to achieve through the program, putting together a rough plan that developed over time. While we don’t directly work on AI projects there was still plenty of advice and guidance we could offer moving forward. Learning to use open questioning and goal setting techniques Jordan understood and set his own goals.

One of the main areas we focused on were soft skills such as confidence, communication, resilience, self awareness and initiative. All key factors in personal development and important in moving through education and into work. Jordan showed great confidence throughout and again at the final showcase event by presenting in front of 40 to 50 people. 

The other key area of focus was hard skills such as organisation, industry awareness and connections, which allowed us to open up the world of networking and educational resources online. This turned out to be a great push forward towards Jordan’s goal because he was able to see and learn about the companies who work in the field he wants to go into and get an idea on the jobs available and the type of university course that most helps him get there. 

Ultimately, we aimed to give Jordan ownership to continue with his own progress and personal development and we now keep in touch to see how he gets on and to offer advice and help.

We all want people with experience, but fundamentally we have to offer more help for others to gain that experience.

What we learnt

It’s very easy to forget that most people we work with regularly understand the terminology used, whether its technical or general business terms such as ‘end of play’.

We very quickly learnt that the younger generation and those who haven’t worked in an office / studio environment generally have no idea what we’re on about. This meant that we had to consider how we communicated with Jordan and actually how we speak with most people, either through conversation, email or social posts. 

The key thing we focused on was job adverts and students understanding of the type of work advertised,  the expectations on them and whether or not it’s something they are actually able to apply for. It’s definitely something we’ll be trying to focus on more for our future roles. 

The other major thing we learnt was making the agency more accessible, more approachable and sharing knowledge with the next generation. There are so many educational resources online and we need to continue to contribute to this but also make more people aware of it, especially at school and college level. 

We have now opened up the opportunity for work experience in our team and are looking to attend more careers events at schools to start bridging the gap.

 

Why this is important

The UK has some of the best creative agencies in the  world and that relies heavily on diversity and bringing in each new generation.  We believe, as an industry, responsibility falls on us to make that happen, to make ourselves accessible and encourage everyone to be involved.

We all want people with experience, but fundamentally we have to offer more help for others to gain that experience. Programmes like the mentoring course at Creative Mentor Network are a brilliant way to facilitate this, but we can all do more to sustain the creative industry.

 

Whats next

We’re going to stay involved with the CMN network and continue to support young people from all backgrounds to get into the creative industry. We encourage you to do the same, you can get involved here: www.creativementornetwork.org.

Feel free to reach out to us and speak with Rich Brassett about the experience.