Stephanie MacDonald from Morgan Stanley is a Career Ready mentor to Chriseanna Hastings from Shawlands Academy in Glasgow. Here, she shares her experience of helping Chriseanna develop the skills, confidence and experience needed to kickstart a rewarding future.

When I heard about Career Ready from my employer, I thought it sounded like it was a programme that could be very valuable to young people, and I wanted to be a part of it so that I could pass on some of my experience and support a student in gearing up for the world of work.

Making the leap from school to work can be daunting and a bit scary, having someone on hand to answer questions and give support can be so valuable, so I’m really proud that I was able to provide that to Chriseanna.

Over the course of our mentoring relationship, I’ve seen her grow more confident and I was very pleased with the way she quickly settled into the internship as though it wasn’t a big deal for her to be out of her comfort zone and in a professional environment such as Morgan Stanley.

Hopefully, I’ve also been able to provide some good advice to Chriseanna around believing in herself and finding new ways to approach things that she previously found difficult.

I know it’s not why we volunteer, but mentoring Chriseanna has also helped me professionally. Sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down by the world of work and forget that having a career is a real achievement, and being able to pass on knowledge, advice and tips based on my own experiences have been valuable for me and acted as a real confidence booster.

Since completing the Career Ready programme Stephanie’s mentee has also been nominated for the Standard Life Aberdeen Student of the Year Award Glasgow, her School Coordinator Ambreen described Chriseanna’s transformation encouraged by Stephanie’s support.

Before the Career Ready programme Chriseanna came across as being shy and lacking in confidence. Today she is a more positive young woman with a much better understanding of what the world of work has to offer. Her mentor, Stephanie, has worked hard with Chriseanna to bring about this change.

During her internship at Morgan Stanley, which she thoroughly enjoyed, she acknowledged that she was out of her comfort zone, but due to the self-resilience she’s found since meeting Stephanie she was able to take on any new challenges.

This new found confidence has led Chriseanna to present to parents and mentors about her experience on the program. Where before there was a young shy girl who would barely say anything there is now a confident and highly effective communicator. It just shows how much the program has helped her.

Learn more about how our volunteers help young people kickstart rewarding futures or get involved and make a lasting difference.