13th October 2013
After an early breakfast, endlessly re-tying my tie as it was never the right length and travelling across London (a city I’d only visited twice previously and never on my own), I was feeling pretty nervous about meeting Cilla Snowball for the first time. My research had lead me to imagine a female Sir Alan Sugar from the apprentice, waiting to tear all my dreams to shreds, point her finger at me and tell me to get out hat in hand. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
My name is Natasha and I am lucky enough to be taking part in this year’s Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme (ALMP).
I came across the opportunity whilst I was taking part in my year in industry, where I worked for Microsoft for a year. Whilst I was there I got some great first-hand experience of working in the real world and got some real clarity on how I wanted to proceed in my future career. I was looking forward to starting back at university for my final year, but I didn’t want to lose sight of my career goals I had taken so long to figure out. I also wanted to keep improving myself in order to reach those goals in the long run, so ALMP provided me with the perfect opportunity to do this.
24th February 2012
I have been meeting up with Cilla once a month, alternating between London and Birmingham. Most recently, we both attended the BUAFTA’s at the University of Birmingham, where the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme was up for the Best Idea of the Year award. It was a privilege to attend this event and spend the evening in Cilla’s company.
Cilla has been a fantastic support, in both a professional and personal sense; providing great careers advice and also advising me about how to cope with the stresses of final year. In our last meeting, Cilla emphasised the importance of maintaining a work-life balance and receiving feedback from my tutors, and I have really been able to take her advice on-board. She has really helped me to alter my perspective about time management and how to balance my various commitments.
I was elated when I discovered that my mentor was Cilla Snowball. Having dreamed about a career in advertising since my early teens, I feel very privileged to have been selected for the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme and to be mentored by one of the best people in the industry.