Ella Lewis

Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme
BA Modern Languages, 2022
Mentored by Baroness Doreen Massey

Please tell us a bit about yourself, your mentorship and what you
gained from taking part in the mentoring scheme. 

This year I have been mentored by Baroness Doreen Massey and I have loved it. I have always had a keen interest in Politics, so when I had the chance to head to the Houses of Parliament to meet her, I could not have been more excited. Doreen has been so generous with her time; she helps me to think more of opportunities and how far I can push myself. She also has so much wisdom of the different industries I am interested in. This, I think, is what I have found the most helpful about the ALMP mentoring programme – Doreen has opened my eyes to so many different options and opportunities that I never would have put myself forward to, but she has made me realise that there is no harm in applying for things even if you are not 100% sure it is what you really want, because something will fit into place, and you never know when.

What is one piece of advice you learnt from your mentor you could share with other students/graduates? 

A piece of advice that Doreen has given me is that it is okay once you graduate to not go straight into a career – I think there is this expectation that once you graduate that is it, you need to start your career. But she advised to go travelling for a bit, get a job that will not be your life long one, enjoy yourself because you rarely get that opportunity again. That has been so helpful because I, like so many final years, have that tendency to think “if I don’t get a great job as soon as I graduate, I am a failure”, so to hear someone you admire, and with such a successful career say that, it was great.

Can you share any top tips for making the most of the mentoring
opportunity and how to be an effective mentee? 

Question everything! I mean as in, if you have any questions at all, ask them! The mentors are there for exactly that reason and you will get so much more out of it than being apathetic and uncaring. Through asking I have been able to speak to very knowledgeable and high-ranking people in the different career sectors that have given me invaluable insight into areas I would have no idea about otherwise. Similarly, be honest because honest communication about your doubts and concerns helps foster that relationship. So if you think “I do not know if I am good enough to apply for that”, ask your mentor and they can help you navigate through that and accentuate your best qualities on an application.


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