Christopher George, a Motor Injury Claims Handler for Aviva, supported Erik Petnehazi as a Career Ready mentor and helped him secure an internship at Aviva. Here, he shares how he was able to help Erik develop the skills, confidence and experience to kick-start a successful future.
Mentoring a young person is such a rewarding experience. Watching them identify areas where they want to improve and watch them achieve their goals is a great feeling.
The biggest impact I think I had as a mentor was helping Erik grow in confidence. He’s a very bright boy but he needed extra support with his confidence and his English writing skills. Erik had only been in Scotland for just over a year and I could see that he was apprehensive about getting involved in conversations with other people. To help fix this we would meet every month and just chat about our interests and his future, by doing this I could see him grow with each meeting in terms of his keenness and his eloquence.
By the time Erik came to work at Aviva I felt he had worked hard to give himself the best start possible which was demonstrated by the great reputation he built at Aviva. This culminated in a fantastic presentation on his last day. Erik filled his presentation with confidence, humour, group engagement and professionalism, it was incredible to watch…it’s safe to say I was a very proud mentor!
Watching a shy young person grow so much in confidence that he completed four weeks work at a major organisation, passed his exams and won a place at college, has been really rewarding for me on a personal level.
Students work to college and university acceptance through their whole period of secondary school, but Erik achieved this is 2 years whilst learning a new language and having to adapt to a new culture. This is an incredible achievement and to be a part of that journey with Erik is one of the most rewarding experiences I have been involved in. I have also now made a friend who I can chat about films, formula 1 and Hungarian “sayings” with.