Our last member story of the year! After JCI London connected with One Million Mentors this year, JCI London member Chris Adrian shares his experience working with them so far:
1 Million Mentors was first brought to my attention by JCI London. After looking into the purpose of the organization I quickly decided that I wanted to become a mentor. The concept of offering time to a young person, in order to guide them towards achieving professional goals seems very convincing and encouraging to me. I’m sure many of you will agree that time is probably one of the most valuable thing that we have.
Throughout my education in schools and university, I have always been fortunate enough to have received various forms of support from the people and institutions around me. Without this support, setting foot into my profession would have been an awful lot harder, and I am very aware of the positive impact that a supportive environment has on young individuals. Every young person deserves a fair start and all the necessary support they need in order to make it happen.
Especially during this year, it has become much harder for entry level job seekers to enter the design and creative industry. Even before COVID, finding a job as a junior level designer (especially in an urban and competitive place) could be difficult and very time consuming. Many professionals have made compromises at the beginning of their careers, such as low or non-paid internships in order to set a foot into the industry. This is another reason why I decided to join 1MM.
The process of signing up to the platform as a mentor has been pleasant and convenient. Everything is digital, clear and well structured. I was provided with a step by step educational online course to prepare me for every stage of mentoring. I appreciate that I was able to set my own paste while going through this process. The 1MM community is very supportive and there are regular workshops, where mentors can meet and benefit from each other’s experiences. I am very much looking forward to meet other mentors in the near future.
I was very excited to find out, that I had been matched with a graphic design university student who is about to graduate next year. I experienced that the 1MM course prepared me very well for the first mentoring session. With a clear idea on how to structure the first meeting, it turned out to be productive and enjoyable. It left the mentee and my myself with a clear understanding on what is to come and achieve.
The perspective of supporting the student throughout his final year at university and afterwards on the hunt for the first job is amazing. I have very clear memories of my own last year at uni, and understand the significance that a successful final project and a strong design portfolio has, when it comes to applying for internships and entry level jobs. Once again, the support and mentoring that I received during that time was extremely helpful.
I’m sure that this is going to be an exciting journey and I hope that my mentee will benefit just as much from the support as I did back then. I would like to thank JCI London for this opportunity and I’m looking very much forward to share more 1MM experiences in the future.
This post was written by Chantelle Nylander - Quartey