In October we welcomed the Slomans to the college. Martyn and Anne will be working with Year 12 students in a mentoring capacity. Here Martyn reflects on and looks forward to the experience.
The Pennsylvania Dutch have a lovely saying: “We grow too soon old and too late smart". I often reflect on this sentiment when, in retirement, I look back on my educational and career path. I wish that I’d known then what I know now about the choices available, what would suit me best, and what I needed to do to overcome the barriers.
The employment options are much more difficult for today’s students than for my generation of baby-boomers; we should be willing to help young people in any way we can. I was therefore delighted when the College accepted an offer from my wife Anne and myself to mentor some year 12 students. We will be meeting them individually and will assist with c.v. building and presentational techniques, as well as practice interviews. Ultimately it is for the student himself or herself to make the decisions and take the initiatives. However, alongside the teaching staff, we hope to offer ’support and challenge’ on applications and job intentions.
Anne was a journalist, programme-maker and Chief Political Adviser for the BBC. I was Director of Management Education and Training at Ernst & Young, one the big four accountancy firms before becoming a Professor at a Business School. We hope that between us we can offer some useful perspectives from two quite different background experiences.
We have held some initial workshops with Year 12 students and were impressed by their awareness and determination. The individual mentoring will start soon and we intend to arrange meetings twice a term with the students chosen to participate. There is a family connection. Anne’s mother was a Fakenham student and left in 1931 to train as a nurse, first in Cromer and then in London. I wonder how many others have taken a similar route since then – and will do so in the future.