Jade McGrane, who is a student at Grange Community College, gives us her perspective on being involved in the Student Mentoring Programme. Grange Community College is linked with Kraft.
I got involved in the Mentoring Programme because I wanted to have a mentor and get to interact with people in the workplace. A friend of mine had done it a few years before and she told me that it was a great help for thinking about career options and what college/course you might pick.
I was nervous at the start but once Sinead and I got to know each other better, it was very easy to talk to her about different things. We might just talk about what we did during weekends or holidays. It’s really about whatever the two of us are interested in. My mentor works in the area of advertising and sales so we also talk about her career and the projects she’s working on.
We met roughly once a month at the start but we meet every three weeks now as this helps me to focus on my studies, make study plans and prepare for college interviews. For me the best thing about the programme was that Sinead helped me to get some work experience at a hairdressers. In Transition Year I thought I wanted to work with children but by the time I got to 6th year I‘d changed my mind. I was very interested in becoming a hairdresser and she helped me to experience what it would really be like working in a salon. I even learned how to colour block hair as well as seeing what goes on, on a daily basis in a salon. This made the choice of hairdressing as a career more definite for me.
Overall the mentoring programme has improved my confidence. I noticed this when I was preparing for an interview for Colaiste Dhulaigh for their hairdressing course. The interviewers were hardly able to get a word in, as I’m so used to talking about my future aims and plans with Sinead. It is not just about interviews though, I feel at the end of this programme I’m a more confident person. That is really the biggest benefit that I got from the mentoring.
We had a few outings as a group in the last two years – that is all the mentors and their mentees. We have been bowling and go-carting and were lucky enough to see the whole Cadbury factory in Coolock.
I strongly recommend to Kraft that this programme continues for future students as it was of great benefit to me and I’m sure that it would help others in the same way.