Matching Haberdasher Scholars with a Haberdasher Mentor could offer a transformational opportunity for students.
|Haberdasher Apprentice, and winner of the Haberdashers' Company Arkwright Engineering Scholarship, Lisa Davies, with her Mentor, Haberdasher Liveryman Andrew Tarpey|
In between my university studies and working life I secured some work experience at a large charity. After a week of shadowing one of the managers, having been involved in a wide variety of activities, I tried to express something of my gratitude to her. I was well aware that this opportunity would open doors to other opportunities that would help pave the way on my chosen path. Her reply has remained a motivation to me to this day:
‘Don’t thank me. Just do the same for someone else’.
My guess is that each of us is a product of those who have provided opportunities for us, opened doors for us, connected us to others, encouraged us and built us up. If we’re lucky, we’re surrounded by people – from family to colleagues - who help facilitate our professional growth.
Many of the pupils at Haberdashers’ schools are unlikely to have the connections that open doors to their chosen professional path. For those who are the first in their family to go to university, they may simply lack any connections or networks that can help them make a successful and sustained transition between university and the world of work. Even the simple encouragement and understanding of their family may be hard to come by.
For many years the Company has been supporting Haberdasher Scholars with a modest contribution of £1,000 each year for the duration of their studies. While this is clearly useful, it may not be transformational.
The Haberdasher' Company is made up of members from a wide range of professional occupations. If the Company can match each Scholar with a Haberdasher mentor, they can help provide encouragement, professional experience and mentoring. This could ensure that the Company's Scholars’ programme could become transformational.
As the Scholar approaches the final year of their degree the hope is that their chosen mentor will encourage and facilitate conversations about next steps, CV writing, interview tips and so on. If appropriate, they may find that they can open doors to work experience or provide connections in the industry of their choice.
With around 50 Scholars starting university each year, the Company could make a significant difference in the lives of young Haberdashers' Scholars.
Director for Charities