The Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme almost forces you to look towards the future whether that be in terms of higher education or working. At the same time, it allows you to see how far you have come as an individual from the start of third year on the way to the end.
Most people would think that mentoring has to take place whilst physically in their mentor’s presence. In reality, it can take place however, whenever and wherever you and your mentor wish. From speaking to other mentees during a brief catch up session, I realised that some mentees may have only physically seen their mentor once or twice whereas, I have been lucky to be in the House of Lords on average once a month since the start of the programme.
An invitation into the House of Lords. Me? Already?
Let me backtrack and quickly tell you who I am before we get to the invitation. My name is Makedah Simpson and I’m currently twenty years of age. It is quite clear what university I attend and I’m currently tackling (Yes, I used the correct word) my third and final year of Political Science with Social Policy.
I applied for the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme (ALMP) because whilst in second year, it dawned on me that my time at the University academically was nearly over. The process of graduate applications, moving back to London and knowing I will actually have to pay tax hit me all at once. I saw the programme as allowing me to gain further insight into the government, giving me guidance on whether I should undertake further education and developing my potential. Continue reading
The House of Lords is a very grand building. In the middle of the evening rush hour, it feels every bit like the centre of the UK. Tourists surround it, admiring it from the outside, but they aren’t usually allowed in. Imagine my excitement then, when I was invited into the building for the ALMP Celebration Event. Of course, the grandiose architecture didn’t help my nerves. I was about to go to a two hour networking event with some of the most successful people in the UK. Like meeting my mentor for the first time, it was quite daunting. Continue reading
The last meeting we had was to review my CV, cover letter and personal statement. I feel a lot more confident about applying for jobs now. Since that meeting, I’ve applied for two jobs. I was able to get through the application a lot more quickly and I’m much happier with what I’ve handed in than in the past. Continue reading
After exchanging a few emails, my first official meeting with Simon was on the 1st of December. We met in Staff House and I brought my questions about my career, the music industry, and my options after university. As a student conductor I was aware of how difficult it is to become a professional conductor and that there is no necessarily obvious career path to follow. Simon was extremely encouraging and recommended several options I hadn’t considered. We talked about various masters courses in postgraduate orchestral conducting (MMUs or MA) in conservatoires and universities predominantly in the UK, but also in the US – which I hadn’t considered yet. Simon personally knew some of the professors running some of the courses and could give in-depth information about their experience, specialities and the nature of the courses. An option I hadn’t thought of was attending a conducting summer course and he recommended some examples, and again knew some of the conductors running the courses. He explained that not only the tuition would be beneficial but that the networking I could do there could lead to professional contacts, and that, of course, is extremely important in the music industry. Continue reading
When I applied for the scheme I was really excited by the idea of having a mentor who had had such a diverse career as Doreen had. I was over the moon to be accepted and to get the mentor I had chosen. I had put all my eggs in one basket and only applied for Doreen as a mentor. I know this phrase usually has a negative sense but I felt that if you really want something it pays to give it your all which ultimately means putting all of your eggs in the one basket. Continue reading
When I opened the email with the information on Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme (ALMP) I thought it sounded like an amazing experience, but did not believe that I would be a suitable candidate for any of the mentors since I had no idea what I wanted to do with my future. After deliberating about applying I decided it was better to apply than to not even try to; I’m so glad I did. After filling out the application and attending an interview I found out that I was actually accepted and my mentor was to be Baroness Doreen Massey. My first thought, how amazing, I was shocked that I was actually chosen. So if you’re thinking about applying but don’t think your good enough, don’t doubt yourself.