Brightsolid are delighted to be working with Career Ready by supporting the Career Ready mentorship programme.  Career Ready is a UK wide charity which links employers such as Brightsolid with students from local schools and colleges.

As an employer we will mentor students to help them prepare for the world of work as well as supporting internships, masterclasses and other activities.  We have four employees from different parts of our organisation who are directly participating in the programme:  Matt Thompson (Security Architect), Vicky Glynn (Product Manager) and Derek Roy (Data Centre Manager) and our CEO, Elaine Maddison.

As we work through the programme we’ll provide updates on how it is going which will hopefully encourage other employers and students to take part. In this article we talk with the team about their hopes for the programme and impressions after the kick-off sessions.

We asked the team what attracted them about being part of the career ready programme. There was a lot of belief in the programme – Derek had been impressed with the ‘enthusiasm that the Career Ready team have and the way that they embrace the young adults of the future’. Elaine reflected on how important Career Ready’s simple objective of ensuring a positive destination for every young person was, and how, as a parent of a young person she can see, ‘first-hand, how difficult it is to make decisions at such a young age which can impact you in later life’.  Making a difference was a key desire of all the participants with Matt being keen ‘to give something back’ and Vicky keen that we ‘could offer a new perspective outside of the everyday contact’ the participants have.

The team is really enthusiastic about contributing to the programme, Matt hopes that he can give his mentee ‘a toolkit that they can then develop for their own needs for the rest of their lives. Communication, self-development, logic and trouble-shooting skills’.  Derek echoed this sentiment hoping to “pass on a vast knowledge I have gained from the roles I have been lucky enough to have during my working life. To give them the opportunity to do a placement in a work that has such a diverse team and to learn new skill sets during the time spent here.”  Vicky also said she really hoped “I can give my mentee a tonne of enthusiasm and positivity about the possibilities of a career in tech m as I know he might be interested in that area!

The team enjoyed the first session organised by Career Ready in which we met some of the students we would be mentoring and heard the experiences of some of the employers and pupils that had previously participated. As Elaine said, the first session, hosted in the V&A, ‘was great fun. The Career Ready team did an excellent job in making everyone feel comfortable’. Derek thought it was great he got to meet and chat with his mentee and ‘was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly they got on with each other and I could see how enthusiastic he was about the programme and where I might take him’.

What’s next? Our next session is a direct session with our mentees in their school and we are all looking forward to that.  Matt, particularly, is “looking forward to the relationship grow with my mentee, even after a couple of hours, I could see a couple of areas that I feel I could add value.”

Pictured below are Elaine and Derek with their mentees taking part in one of the ice breakers from the first session.