The programme is an opportunity for organisations to help shape the kind of candidates we want to see in our organisations.
Who are you?
My name is Megan Ford and I’m a HR Recruitment & Training Administrator at Olympus. I’m also the winner of the Mentor of the Year award 2017, proudly supported by Standard Life, for London and the South East.
Why did you decide to work with Career Ready?
The programme is an opportunity for organisations to work with young people and help shape the kind of candidates we want to see in our organisations in the future.
Getting involved was also an opportunity for me to do something I was passionate about, giving young people who need it the guidance, advice and help they need to become more confident taking the next steps in their lives, and to know what opportunities are out there in their local area.
The age group that Career Ready works with faces many challenges taking the step from education into work – for example the saturation in the market for particular jobs, with up to tens to hundreds of people applying for the same role. As a young person it’s important to have knowledge of what can make you stand out from others during the application process, for good and for bad. I believe we need to do more to support this age group be ready to take that step from education into the working world.
What impact do you think you’ve had?
The most important thing I’ve done with Career Ready is run a CV, cover letter and interviewing skills workshop from one of our locations in Southend. Eight students from King Edmund School attended for two hours outside of school hours, including my mentee Rhys.
I got some fantastic feedback from the students and their mentors and I am proud that a little idea I had grew into such a rewarding experience for both me and the students.
What are the benefits of the programme?
Transitioning from school or college into a working environment can be a big challenge – the way you behave or the things you say might need to be adjusted depending upon the role you have secured. Speaking from experience, I know it took me several years to understand the difference between these two settings, how I needed to act and how I could be perceived.
It can be difficult for students to know who or what to ask and by being a mentor, we can offer experience and advice in a more social and friendly way. We can offer somewhere to turn or advice they don’t want to ask their teachers or parents.
What have you enjoyed about being a mentor?
I was able to have a direct impact on someone’s life, their self-belief and their direction in life. Rhys has become more confident and assured in his direction and to have had a part in that makes me very proud.
Additionally mentoring Rhys given me more self-confidence and belief in myself. To have Rhys nominate me for the reasons he did has helped me be able to see my own potential and for that I thank him.
How do you feel to be an award winner?
This award shows me that the ideas and suggestions I gave made a difference to Rhys and the way he saw himself. The encouragement I gave him was due to the potential I knew he had, he just had to believe it, and by nominating me for this award he has shown that to me.
Rhys is a bright and driven young man who should be rewarded just as much as me. He is an example of what people of this age group can achieve if they have belief in themselves.
What Rhys said about Megan:
Throughout my Career Ready experience Megan has gone above and beyond to help me. I wasn’t sure what to do in the future but Megan was determined to help me find the right career. She showed me a lot of different career options which helped me decided what was best for me.
Now I am driven to pursue my dream and because of Megan’s support I know the steps I have to take in order for my dream to become a reality.