Jewish men­tor scheme taught me vi­tal lessons about the world of work


“DON’T GO into jour­nal­ism for the money; get ex­pe­ri­ence and cut­tings if you want a job; mak­ing con­tacts is vi­tal.”

Th­ese are prob­a­bly the three most of­ten-of­fered pieces of ad­vice for as­pir­ing jour­nal­ists.

From my lim­ited per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence, I would say that net­work­ing and “get­ting your foot through the door” can be the most dif­fi­cult in usual cir­cum­stances. That is why I joined Jewish ed­u­ca­tion char­ity OrtJump’s men­tor scheme.

When Ort UK’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives came into JFS last year to pro­mote the pro­gramme, two points caught my at­ten­tion in their as­sem­bly: it is pres­ti­gious, and many mentees se­cure work ex­pe­ri­ence with their men­tors at the end.

Most of my friends said they hoped to go into bank­ing or law. But all I could think about was one day work­ing for a news­pa­per. Well, by the end of the last aca­demic school year, I had se­cured that and much more.

I was men­tored and ad­vised by sports editor Danny Caro.

Heads-up for pos­si­ble mentees: ex­pect to at­tend a real work­place, learn what your men­tor’s job ac­tu­ally in­volves, and find out what ex­pe­ri­ence is best. De­pend­ing on the po­si­tion and role of your men­tor in their com­pany or field, a tour of their of­fices can be ex­pected.

Over and above the scheme’s usual goals, my men­tor helped me set up my own blog. He and I de­vel­oped story ideas and he taught me the tricks of the trade. Most im­por­tantly, he and I still speak and I feel that I have a life-long men­tor and a friend be­yond the scheme.

In my ex­pe­ri­ence, peo­ple in our com­mu­nity want to help. We are lucky to live among in­flu­en­tial and ex­pe­ri­enced fig­ures in the UK and across all fields. So I ask stu­dents, par­ents and any­one else read­ing this pa­per to get in­volved.

The ic­ing on the cake? I won the “Out­stand­ing Achieve­ment Award” for my fi­nal port­fo­lio.

So to all Year 12 pupils, I will say this: next year, it could be you.

All you have to do is jump.

I feel that I have a life­long men­tor and a friend be­yond the scheme

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