It’s that time of year again, where usually the academic year is coming to an end and the excitement of a summer break is looming! For a third year university student, this time of year is the finish line, where all the hard work has paid off; the relief of handing in that final major project – priceless. I remember that day so well back in 2014 – hand-in done, and straight down to the Plymouth Barbican for celebratory drinks!
Fast-forward 6 years, I decided to take part in the University of Plymouth Mentorship Scheme back in November. I have recently finished mentoring a fantastic Media Arts student Meabh, who has just landed her first post-graduate job teamed with an apprenticeship. I have no doubt she is revelling in the same comfort of achievement.
Being part of this year’s mentoring program has been so fulfilling in many ways; being able to give something back from my experience so far in industry, but also being able to relate to those extra hours through eye-swelling all-nighters!
Going back to the University last year, for the first time since being swamped with a gown and mortarboard, not only brought on the nostalgia, but gave me the opportunity to meet a wonderful student in my mentee. I remember the day clearly, with all mentors patiently waiting to meet our mentees at the meet-and-greet and, as the evening went on, hearing so many voices of experience from a whole mix of industry.
Meabh was in her final year and had all the determination and skill you could possibly ask for in a student, but wanted to explore her potential options of career paths that lay ahead for her as a postgraduate. She was keen to identify which type of creative career to pursue, and I felt this was a prime example of where I could really support her. Working in the creative industry has allowed me to provide her with insight into the different creative roles that are out there. From artworker to graphic designer, from illustrator to animator, I was able to give Meabh first-hand experience on a lot of day-to-day activities that I undergo at work.
Along with CV writing (and designing), portfolio building and networking, Meabh and I worked together to prepare the best position for her to approach her first post-graduate job and kick start into what I’m sure will be a very successful career.
Would I take part in a similar programme again? Absolutely. It’s been a pleasure to work with and support Meabh, and very rewarding to see her confidence grow. The programme is very beneficial for both mentor and mentee, and definitely helps bridge the gap between studies and being in the industry.
Meabh has been kind enough to contribute her thoughts on the mentoring programme below:
I consider joining the mentorship programme at my university to be the extra guidance which I needed to better adapt to the transition between being a student and joining the workforce. However, my mentor Georgia Martin and her ongoing support was what really made it special. I decided to join the programme as I was unsure on which direction to take my skills and how to get there, and after speaking to Georgia about this at our first meeting, she was incredibly organised with different steps to take each month in order for me to prepare.
Thanks to Georgia, I am much more aware of the variety of different creative job opportunities there are around the south west, and hearing about her own experiences from completing her degree to now working at Spicerack really helped me understand better how to achieve my own goals. Georgia was also incredibly helpful in giving me honest feedback on my portfolio, website, and CV with professional insight that I would have overlooked.
Thanks to Georgia, I have now completed my degree and am feeling much more confident about my own skills and ability to enter the creative work environment, and I cannot thank her enough!