Through Meningitis Now's Believe & Achieve programme for 14-25 year-olds, our aim is to find a mentor that is a great match for you, either in terms of the role they do or the skills you need.
We spoke to Misa and Lucy, a Next Step Mentor and mentee that have been matched up through the scheme.
Mentor's perspective: Misa Ichinose
"I signed up to the Meningitis Now Believe & Achieve programme nearly two years ago; I had been supporting Meningitis Now for around 7 years at the time and wanted to do something more!
"Next Step Mentoring suited me perfectly - I'd had experience being a mentee in other programmes so wanted to give back.
"Meningitis Now gave me thorough training before matching me with Lucy - who happened to work around the corner from me! - and starting our mentoring programme.
"They provided me with documents to follow, which proved to be very helpful in helping Lucy build courses of actions to follow.
"Overall it's been enriching I think for both Lucy and myself - personally it was great to gain the skills to be able to mentor someone - and to gain the confidence too!
"Specifically being a mentor to Lucy, who works in a similar field and location to where I've worked in the past, was fantastic (thank you for making the match!).
"Lucy is super receptive to feedback and it's great to play even a small part in her success."
Mentee’s perspective: Lucy Skoulding
"I first started the B&A mentoring scheme about two and a half years into my career as a journalist.
"When you start out in any career, it’s easy to think that all the hard work comes at the beginning when you’re trying to get that dream job, and once you’ve got it you’re all set.
'I’ve learned that this is certainly not true. It’s important to find a balance between focusing on what you’re doing in the present and planning what you might do in the future, but also being flexible enough to keep your options open.
"I was thinking about all of this for the first time when I became a mentee to Misa, who works in a similar industry to me. Since then, Misa has helped me so much with many different aspects of my work. I do freelance work as well as having a job, so it’s been amazing to be able to speak to someone about my freelance work for the first time.
"Through the course of our mentoring sessions, Misa has helped me make a plan to get more freelance work, which I have executed, and made me a tracker to keep up with opportunities I apply to and get involved in. She has helped me get involved in a new online initiative for freelancers and she has helped me get ready for some exams I have to take at work in November. She has given me advice for useful connections I could make and checked things over for me like my cover letter and CV. Each time we meet, we set little goals or actions to try to do before the next meeting. It’s so useful to have a second opinion and someone who is supporting me and who is amazing at giving advice.
"Misa and I organise to meet about once a month. Originally we were able to do the meetings in person because her office is actually very close to mine in the City of London. So I would go to her amazing office or we’ve met in a coffee shop before too. Sadly the pandemic means neither of us have gone into our offices in months but we’ve been able to keep up conversations on the phone and on video call, which I’m really grateful for.
"I’m benefiting so much in many ways from being on the B&A mentor scheme so if anyone is considering being either a mentee or mentor I would say go for it!"