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