In a increasingly difficult employment market for graduates and students, alison spoke to us about her experience mentoring one of our fantastic studenteers.
Please could you introduce yourself and tell us a little about how you came to hear about Studenteer?
I saw a post on LinkedIn and thought ‘Why not? I have plenty of time on my hands and would like to do something useful.’ I run a strategic marketing consultancy (www.addagency.co.uk) providing outsourced marketing support but by the end of March all my clients had gone into lockdown.
What made you want to want to sign up as a mentor with Studenteer?
I also teach the CIM Marketing qualifications with the London Marketing Set (as well as the day job). As courses were suspended temporarily it seemed a good way to help students.
Could you tell us a little about the project you’ve been matched with and your role in helping them?
I was matched with Pilgrim Of Brixham, who maintain an 125 year old fishing trawler, part of the National Historic Fleet. To raise money for its upkeep they provide adventure sailing holidays across the south coast.
My role was to look at widening the audience away from their traditional base of +60’s, to see how we could attract family groups and others in the face of a year of cancelled bookings and loss of income for the charity.
How have you helped the Studenteer you have been matched with?
I was matched with Anna Young, a Spanish and Linguistics student who had her work experience at a travel agents’ in Spain cancelled. Whilst Anna had no marketing experience, she was very quick to learn. She provided a thorough investigation into how to market to travel audiences and I hope her new knowledge of Mailchimp email marketing and the application of Instagram and Pinterest platforms will be of future benefit.
What have you gained from the experience of mentoring?
It’s hard to do it remotely and I respect all teachers who have had to encourage continued learning throughout lockdown. Mentoring is a great way to share my knowledge and experience and provide valuable skills to students who are facing an incredibly hard future.
What impact do you feel it will have on your career, and are you likely to continue volunteering after it ends?
Sadly, my volunteering has already ended as I returned to work full time. Mentoring works well when you have a shared goal to work towards.
Could you give any advice or tips to other people considering signing up as a mentor with Studenteer?
I would thoroughly recommend mentoring if you have the time and experience to share with others.
Would you recommend mentoring with Studenteer to others?
Yes, of course.