I thought I would give up a few minutes of my time each week to have a chat with a student, but the reality has been that I have helped someone determine their future.
Who are you?
My name is Kirsty McNeil and I’m the Team Manager at Santander. I mentor Nicole Doherty from Eastbank Academy and am also an internship supervisor and help coordinate the programme within Santander.
Why did you decide to volunteer for Career Ready?
I heard about Career Ready from the then coordinator of the programme within Santander. I wanted to get a bit more involved with our charitable activities and it was suggested that I sign up.
At the time, I was mostly getting involved for a new challenge. I had been in my current role for quite a while and was looking for a bit of a change. I also have young nieces and thought I would be suited to the programme.
What do you enjoy about mentoring a young person?
Mentoring is inspiring. I thought I would give up a few minutes of my time each week to have a chat with a student, but the reality has been that I have helped someone determine their future and given them the necessary skills to go out into the world and be the best they can be.
What impact do you think you’ve had on Nicole?
I’ve helped make Nicole realise how talented and capable she actually is. She has become an incredible young lady – and I felt lucky to be able to support her and guide her in her career path.
Watching Nicole go from strength to strength – excelling in her internship, getting a job, being accepted to university – has been really rewarding. I have gained a friend from the experience and will continue to support Nicole in whatever ways she requires.
What would you recommend about working with Career Ready?
The people involved behind the scenes are so passionate about the development for the students that it is hard not to become the same. Career Ready has helped me develop my networking and coaching skills, and I have become more and more involved in the training and education of young people as a result of the programme.