Exploring Options after University with my mentor

I first met Jane Lodge in October, then November, and again in March this year; she has been a constant help throughout always available to talk to and filled with useful information and stories of her experiences travelling around the world – something I am very envious of! Jane has been a great help with giving me some perspective.

On paper Jane and I don’t necessarily have many professional links as she is a business women specialising in manufacturing and auditing- being a partner of Deloitte for over 25 years and currently a non- executive on the board of Devro; myself, I have a background in marketing and branding and am still very much an undergraduate. However what the first meeting with Jane in October and the two next meetings have taught me is that our mind-sets are very similar. Jane has been a great shoulder to talk to when deciding whether or not to take a year out after university, or what kind of graduate scheme suits me best rather than what ones I have heard of. Also, during the application process she has always remembered what I have applied for and asked me how it is all going.

In terms of skills I have gained so far, Jane has communicated to me the importance of focus. Working hard, researching and planning your decisions means you can ensure it will pay off in the end. As my final second term has drawn to an end and I have firmly decided on a year out and am applying for six month internships, Jane has given me the confidence to make this decision, encouraging me even when finding a six month internship looked bleak. She has also been the voice of reality making sure that I always have a plan A, B and even C with all of my decisions, making sure with all of my decisions I will not be disappointed.

So although we may not be initially matched in professions I feel we have been matched perfectly in drive (and hopefully success!!). Jane has been an incredible woman to meet and her confidence and ambition are something that I will take forward with me. This whole ALMP experience has been a useful guide throughout my third and final year in university, constantly reminding me that there is a life outside of the red bricks of Birmingham University; I am now excited to leave and start the new chapter in my life.

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