My first mentor meeting with Simon Halsey took place in November 2013. We had a very informal coffee meeting and discussed anything and everything to do with university so far to long term career prospects. I have worked with Simon for the past year or so through choirs and other musical events at the University of Birmingham, but this was the first time we had properly got to know each other in a mentoring context. We began by discussing the various career opportunities in the music/performing arts industries. As a well-connected and world-renowned musician, Simon has many contacts and networking circles in the business. After discussing my initial thoughts on where and what I’d like to do, he made extremely thought-provoking suggestions on alternative routes into different institutions, which were related to music, but that I had previously not considered.
I had always intended to pursue further studies at postgraduate level and I was well on the way with my masters applications (for an MA in Cultural Policy) by the time I met with Simon. However he was able to guide me into how I would eventually make a decision on which university I would accept and challenged me on how these courses would help me in my long term career plan. After receiving offers from Goldsmiths College and Warwick University I accepted a place at the former. The time constraints of final year studies and the geographical logistics of placement opportunities have so far proven difficult in undertaking work experience so far, however I am hoping that, with Simon’s assistance, I will be able to gain experience in London alongside my studies.