Gary Curzon from Mettler Toledo Safeline is our 2018 Citi Bank Volunteer of the Year for the North West. Here, he shares his experience of being a Career Ready volunteer and the difference he makes to the lives of young people.
I first got involved with Career Ready when I was approached by a contact of mine who felt that my insight and experience would be beneficial to the people on the programme. The more I looked into Career Ready, the more my interest grew in wanting to help young people.
As well as acting a LAB member, I’m currently a mentor to two students in Manchester and two in Stoke-on-Trent, having previously mentored a student in Liverpool. Additionally, I have delivered a Masterclass on Personal Branding and helped arrange a CV workshop and site visits to help students gain an appreciation of what goes on in an organisation to make it work.
Some young people can lack the confidence and belief in themselves and need help and support to build the interpersonal skills required to help them realise that they can achieve their ambitions.
Being a mentor has also helped me to recognise where I am at this stage of my career and it’s given me a renewed sense of energy.
As part of my mentoring, I meet with each of the students monthly to talk them through their career plans and the steps they’ll need to take to achieve their targets, as well as provide feedback and guidance on practical things like CVs and support with site visits, work experience and internships.
I like to think that in some small way I’m helping them to build their self-awareness, confidence and skills to facilitate their transition from studies to the workplace. It is really rewarding too when you start to see a student grow over a period – when they develop the belief and drive to work towards what they want it’s a great feeling
Anyone who likes helping people should seriously consider becoming a Career Ready mentor. The knowledge that you can contribute to a young person going on to realise their ambitions and become the best version of themselves is immeasurable.