Impact Stories
3

Testimonials

Kajoriya

mentee

I was able to develop my communication skills as well as being a step closer to my goal. Fortunately, my mentor was Gitanjali who is an entrepreneur and the founder of High Definition You. I’ve only met her once face to face due to Covid-19, nevertheless, over lockdown I was able to keep in contact with her and get advice from her whether it was about my career or my well-being. Through the mentoring, I have benefitted in many ways such as I was able to get advice when I needed it and I was able to work on my strengths and flaws with Gita. I was wary about the mentoring programme when I first applied because I wasn’t really sure on how it would help me however, now I am more than grateful for having given this opportunity and the chance to meet such a great, joyful and exuberant person like Gita. Currently, I keep in contact with her and she always reassures me how she is willing to help me with anything when I have a problem. I have a video-call through WhatsApp once a fortnight and if we do, by mistake miss the call we make sure that we catch up somehow. I honestly can say that due to Covid-19, I feel as if I have built a better rapport with my mentor. I would love to continue the mentoring and I would like to say thank you for BelEve for such an amazing opportunity.

Rachael

mentee

I cannot explain my gratitude towards BelEve for setting up this amazing programme. I believe every girl should have a mentor who supports her in whatever goals she may have. It is so important to have someone with prior knowledge and wisdom who is there to solely aid you in your journey to success. And my mentor, Paula Perry, is doing exactly this. She took into account my dreams and aspirations and started to already help them come true.

Whilst helping to build the foundation within me so I, myself, can make them come true. By listening to advice, I have been able to have a different perspective in everything I do. My mindset has changed due to the work we put in together and the events we attended. I have understood that in life what is important is networking and bettering your understanding of everything in general.

My mentor she has guided me on a path to fulfil and acknowledge these things. Additionally, having a woman who is so successful by your side is rewarding in itself. Paula would inspire me just by living her daily life  Especially with her and myself being black, I felt like I could relate to her on another level and this helped our relationship in a lot of ways.

I would say that it is crucial for women to pass on their expertise to the next generation so we can do the same: the mentoring programme provides a way for this to happen.

Mia

mentee

I’m so thankful that the scheme is accessible, in terms of costs. No one should be limited due to their financial situation. The first meeting was helpful to get to meet other like minded young women and all of the BelEve team assured us we would be safeguarded and they have definitely kept to their word. I’ve enjoyed the past 6 months with my mentor so far, although slightly disrupted by the pandemic, my mentor and I were still able to make good progress and communication. I only wish that there could be more workshops for a wider range of careers although I appreciate there can’t be things for every single career. I also would have liked for there to be more opportunities to engage with the other mentees, obviously not entirely easy due to lockdown however group Zoom quizzes or something of the sort would have been nice to bond over. Overall I’m looking forward to my next few months with my BelEve mentor.

Annika

mentee

My mentor has most definitely opened my eyes and been there for me when I have had tough decisions to make, for example: sixth forms and universities. She also makes me think more into a certain decision or something such as a passion or interest. Her advice is always educational and helps me grow.

Over the past 6 months I have learnt differences in passions, hobbies and interests. This helped me when it came to the choices of what I want to do in the future and where I see myself. Not only that but I have learnt all about time management and making sure I start making time for myself. I also gained guidance on creating my CV and personal values. My CV is now excellent and I can use it well. Also learning about personal values made me expand my knowledge and now lets me take time to sit and check in with myself.

I would encourage young women to reach out for a mentor as they can really help guide you and help you grow, even in a small amount of time. With a mentor by your side, you can contact someone and talk to them when you need to as well as that; they can introduce you to new ways to improve certain ways you do something. For example: you might need a routine, this is where they can give you advice on how to properly make time for yourself whilst completing school work.

Haneefa

mentee

Having a mentor has been a really amazing experience. It’s really comforting to know I have someone to talk to about what’s on my mind outside of my family and school environment. My mentor not only helps me with making important life decisions like choosing which university I want to go to, but she also helps me with things outside of education. For example, my dream job is to have my own modest streetwear brand one day, and Ella, my mentor, helped me to slowly make that dream into reality by talking through with me the steps I should take in order to start and that most importantly, I should just start!

Over the last six months I have learnt to be more confident in who I am as a person and to believe in myself more. Also six months ago my dream of owning my own business was just that, a dream. However, six months later with the help of my mentor, I now believe in the idea I have and feel empowered to take the next step and start making clothes!

I would really encourage young women like me to have a mentor as it is an extremely beneficial experience that most companies or organisations would charge for. Having a mentor means that you can speak to them about anything that’s on your mind and they will always listen to you and do their best work to work with you to solve any issues or concerns you may have. Your mentor will support your dreams and aspirations and encourage you to believe in yourself and your abilities, so that you can blossom into a strong, independent young woman.

Denise

mentee

Having a mentor benefited me because I’m able to have my application reviewed and edited so it’s to an even better standard. Also, having her to talk to in detail about my personal aspects as well as my school work. This has heavily impacted how I perceive my work as her guidance is always relevant to what’s best for me and future plans. What I’ve learnt over the past 6 months is getting a better insight of a Media based job when talking to my mentor’s co-worker who has a job at Warner Bros.

I’ve also learnt from people she knows about an important tip when writing and detailing photos I’ve taken. And have also learnt from her feedback on the presentation/ideas of my work (websites, business plan etc) that could be improved.

I encourage young women to have a mentor because the extra guidance means that you definitely have the support you need to access opportunities and increase your chance of success. Meeting someone who has gone through the process and is already in their own working industry; they can apply and relate their experience to yours, and just be a supportive figure throughout any process/transition whether big or small.

Nicole

mentee

Mentoring has benefited me as it has allowed me to ask any questions I may have about the corporate world. It has helped me be accountable for the tasks I had set myself through my gap year and transition to my junior/ Trainee data engineer intensive Bootcamp then employee role (from A-Levels, not Uni). I have learnt in the last 6 months that you should take everything you see online with a pinch of salt even if is a person’s true reality they may be omitting large pieces of information that have got them there and finally to constantly set reminders to follow up on emails and opportunities as you never know even in pandemic situations may change. I would encourage young women to have a mentor as it allows you to proactively ask questions that can give you insights to your future and how you want to mould it as where you’re going your mentor has already been. I would encourage girls to also be open to mentors from different sectors as my mentor is in HR and that was really useful in understanding office politics and navigating the workspace or running experiences of people in the workplace I heard through podcasts by her and hearing her perspective.

Thanks to BelEve it has been a real delight, COVID actually made it easier. Our first meet up was in a Pret by London bridge and it wasn’t the easiest to get to so virtual meetups monthly were much better!

Aiysha

mentee

Having a mentor has benefited me in so many ways. I have been able to narrow down my thoughts into what I want to do and ways to achieve it. My mentor also had some relatives in the area that I want to go into as well, so I was able to talk to people in the area and have a more in-depth knowledge about my desired area. Even though the pandemic did put a stop to in person meetings, we still have meetings on whatsapp and as much as possible keep each other up to date.

In regards to what I have learnt over the last 6 months, I would say the biggest thing is to stop. To stop evaluating and truly understand what it is I want to do and not things I have to do because I said it once before. My mentor Dee was very helpful in this as she understood that it takes time to fully understand and dig deep into what you want to do. She was able to give me time, space and guidance which has helped me not only understand myself better but also what I want to do.

There are so many reasons why I would encourage younger women to have a mentor, but my biggest encouragement would be the opportunity to have an outside opinion. In everything you do, you’re always so focused and when asking for feedback, it is usually from people you know or on your side, but with having a mentor, who has more experience and understands the world better allows you to hear their views and thoughts from another point of view. This is something that I believe that no matter where you are in life as a young /older woman in the world today their thoughts could just be the guidance you need.

Comfort

mentee

Having a mentor has benefited me in a tremendous way. At the beginning of this year I was halfway through my second year of university and it was a time where having a mentor was one of the wisest decisions I have made as I am already preparing myself for postgraduate study and at that time it was important that I had the right guidance early on. It has allowed me to plan ahead and work each month on the steps I need to get there with the direction of a professional.

One of the key things that I have learnt from my mentor is the importance of reflection and self-awareness. Since I am looking to enter the healthcare sector in the future, one of the key skills needed by professionals in this industry is to reflect on their practice/actions and being aware of their weakness as well as their strengths and being able to be aware of how they can improve or change their actions. Other things I have worked on is presenting PowerPoints on certain topics to my mentor and getting feedback.

I would most definitely encourage young women to have a mentor as this direct one to one guidance especially from a professional in the prospective field of work they want to have a career in may not be available in their schools or area. It also would be a good experience of being able to build a mentor-mentee relationship over a long period of time.

Jennifer

mentee

During the last six months, I have achieved a 2:1 to end my 1st year at university and was able to transfer to a university due to receiving this grade. I have become more organised and motivated due to having a mentor, my mentor has kept my spirits high during the covid-19 period and focused. I have started my eyelash extension business, and I am more interactive within the BelEve community helping to run a campaign on sexual harassment. My mentor has read work I have done such blogs, cover letters and my cv. She has given me good feedback to improve my work and I am extremely appreciative of the opportunity BelEve has given to me.

Becca

mentee

Having a mentor has benefited me as I have been able to receive top class advice in different areas of my career and education. Hela has been such help in this time by helping me stay creative and not settling for a small scoop.

I’ve learnt to think smarter about things and to not put all my eggs in one basket. I lay an even playing ground for everything I’m doing so I don’t get burned out.

I would encourage young women to have a mentor, especially one that you share a lot of common interests with, as I see it beneficial to receive wisdom that the mentor already has and it’s also lovely to grow together and to reflect on that.

Tianna

mentee

Having a mentor has helped me gain a clearer idea of what I want my future to be and understand the steps I need to take in order to make that happen. Over the past 6 months I have learn more about my chosen industry and that to get to where you want to be, you need to accept help. I believe having a mentor is very beneficial and I highly suggest young women to look into finding a mentor. Not just for career purposes but for guidance and support, especially if you feel like you have no one to really talk to.

Tia

mentee

The mentoring programme was one that I can personally say has contributed significantly to my personal growth and development. When applying for this programme I knew not of the substantial insight and advice that would begin to mould my character and self-esteem.

Having a mentor has helped me through many challenges that I faced over the six-month period in the Pathway to Success Programme.

During the pandemic, there were many obstacles that came about especially regarding my current and future life. Through my mentoring relationship, I was able to have a young successful woman, who shared her knowledge and experience to help me with my struggles. With the scheduled meetings and deadlines placed to complete little tasks that had contributed to my overall time-bound goals, I was able to unlock a better and stronger version of myself; one that was unlocking her true potential and growth more and more every day.

Over the last six months, I have learnt more about myself than any other time period. Mentoring has really allowed me to look into myself to truly learn who I am and who I want to be.

I believe it is very important for young women to have mentors as it can allow them to be encouraged and empowered through having another woman cheering them on and helping them to achieve their goals through solicited advice.

I am now reaping the benefits of this so therefore I can confidently say, that every young girl needs to have a mentor.

Debbie

mentee

Having a mentor has helped me look at situations from different perspectives and have a better outlook on life in general. I now have a new perspective on meeting new people and different types of people.

It has also given me a person to talk through things with without judgement.

Over the last 6 months I have learnt how to properly manage my time to reduce my stress in regards to my exams. I have also learnt how Important it is to take a break from work in order to not overwhelm myself. My mentor has taught me not to have a fixed perspective when meeting new people or a bias.

I think that young women should have a mentor for guidance and motivation especially in a society which is constantly trying to bash us down. A mentor is also important to give advice without judgement or shame in a world which is constantly trying to judge and shame young women. It also uplifts young women by giving us role models.

Jade

mentee

Having a mentor has been great, having someone to speak to and share things with outside of my family and friends felt like having a safe space, without feeling any kind of judgement. I feel that I’ve become more open and comfortable talking about myself since having a mentor, definitely improving my communication skills. Despite not being able to meet in person the experience has been great, the frequent calls and texts just to see how I’ve been made me feel like I hadn’t been forgotten which was comforting. These last 6 months have taught me that every young woman needs someone to be able to speak to and connect with especially someone who has experienced so much more and can advise you and help you with things you may be struggling with or even just being there to listen to you whenever you need. Having a mentor is like having a big sister who is there to listen to you and encourage you. I would definitely recommend young women to consider having a mentor because it’s nice to have that constant encouragement from someone outside of your family and friends and also having that support that might not always be present amongst people you are familiar with.

Cherie

mentee

Hi, my name is Cherie and I’m 20 years old. Why did I sign up to become a BelEve mentee? If I’m being completely honest…I felt lost and was looking for some support; both professionally and personally. As I’ll be starting university in September, I felt the need to learn more about my strengths, weaknesses and general abilities, which led to me putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself. I simply needed the support and structure to progress and believe in myself!

My mentee journey began on the BelEve website, as I applied for the opportunity via the online form. Being accepted onto the program was followed by an invitation to attend a match-making mentor event in the LinkedIn London Headquarters. Attending this event was an unforgettable experience in itself, simply for the opportunity to be in the same room as strong and inspiring women and young girls. It was from that moment I realised how powerful the BelEve team can be while empowering young women and bringing people together.

Once we had submitted our mentor choices, I was ecstatic to be partnered with Fiona FitzGibbon, founder of Diversiffi Media. With my interest in the marketing industry and Fiona’s expertise in the field, I can safely say that I knew we would make a great duo!

We started our journey in Café Nero on Stratton Street (before the Covid-19 pandemic escalated), and started to identify what I would like to gain from having a mentor, and how we can approach these aims. My primary goal was to gain work experience in the field of marketing. While studying Graphic Design at college, I had centred my final year projects around advertising-based design. But without industry work experience before this, I was keen to gain real-world insight.

With Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, gaining work experience was highly unrealistic. So Fiona suggested the idea of having one-to-one calls with industry professionals over a Zoom call. The purpose of these conversations was to network, understand different roles in the industry and hear different perspectives of the advertising and marketing industry.

To prepare, I curated some questions relevant to the industry and their career path, which led me to have open and informative conversations, as well as learning about the creative process.

I am extremely grateful to four professionals; John Dean, Kim French, Silvia Sella and Justyna Pospychała, for sharing their wisdom, knowledge and insight with me, and I look forward to keeping in contact with them!

Alongside this, Fiona expressed the importance of having an updated LinkedIn profile, as it would be the port of call for potential employers. She provided great suggestions to help me get started and offered to check over my profile once drafted.

To complement this, we went on to improve my CV to ensure it stands out, and I love the outcome of both!

To help strengthen my knowledge during this time, Fiona has given me a brief insight into how the Out of Home market works in advertising. This led my curiosity to find and start online courses to learn more about the different avenues of marketing (e.g. digital, social media, website, etc.)

So 6 months later, where are we now? I’m currently in the process of completing the online courses, which is helping me to gain a foundation for understanding the field.

While insisting on not letting the lockdown restrictions stop our progress, Fiona and I have had zoom calls every two weeks to keep in touch, and it also gives me something to look forward to during this unstructured time.

Although I am extremely happy with our progress so far, the main thing that I have gained from this mentoring experience is not a physical achievement. I have gained the confidence boost I had needed, purely to start believing in my abilities. That is solely down to Fiona believing in me as an individual, and guiding me when I needed help the most.

I have learnt to embrace the challenges that come my way and ensure I invest my time into purposeful intentions.

What do I think of the Pathway to Success Mentoring Programme? It’s the support network that I never knew I needed. From the moment I signed up, to being matched with my supportive and inspirational mentor, I have genuinely enjoyed every moment, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 6 months bring!

Esther O

mentee

Having a mentor has allowed me to be able to make my goals more realistic and reachable. My mentor has grounded my goals and ambitions into steps and plans and probable achievable terms. I feel supported and heard with my mentor.  I have learnt to slow down and focus on one thing at a time instead of 50. I’ve also learnt how to plan my steps in order to achieve my goals.  Having a mentor  gives women the opportunity to be supported unconditionally in their future goals and dreams.

Esther A

mentee

I was matched with THEE Victoria Peppiatt, I know what you are thinking, Esther you meant the, but no I mean THEE. For those who don’t know her, Vic is the COO of a revolutionary start-up tech company called Phrasee. Phrasee utilises AI to transform the way companies use email marketing. They combine Deep Learning and Natural Language Generation to create human-sounding marketing language that captivates consumers to engage online. Phrasee works with companies all over the world such as eBay, Domino’s, Groupon and Virgin Holidays (to name a few).

Anyway, when we met for the first time in her office in London, our energy’s matched perfectly. I had a good feeling that it was going to be the start of an amazing relationship.

Before having a mentor, I didn’t have anyone to be accountable to. I would have these incredible ideas and goals that I wanted to reach, but I had no one to share these dreams with. With Vic, I was able to share my targets and make smarter ones (with time constraints of course!). For example, I wanted to get a head start on my UCAS application and my personal statement. I told Vic and she gave me tips on how to not procrastinate (she even sent me a book) and provided me with SMART targets to ensure that I met them.

Vic is one of the most encouraging and supportive people I have ever met. She celebrates my wins and corrects my mistakes with respect and love! She pushes me to be the best version of myself and always cheers me up with her vibrant and bubbly persona!

So what am I saying? If you are given the opportunity to be paired with a mentor with BelEve. TAKE ITTT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Their experience in any field (not just the one that you want to go into) can help with every goal you have as they have the right tools to advise you on any problem you might have!

I am extremely grateful to BelEve for having a programme that matches industry professionals to young ladies that want to go into similar fields. To anyone who is unsure of signing up for this programme, go for it! It changed my life and I’m sure it will change yours as well.

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