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Hear from a Mentee about the difference the Aspire Mentoring Academy has made

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The Aspire Mentoring Academy is a unique programme where professionals throughout Birmingham at varying points in their careers can become a mentor or a mentee; both of which are incredibly rewarding. Here you can read a blog from Rosa, a BPS Birmingham Aspire member who is being mentored by Penny Thorp, Chair of the Mentoring committee and account manager at Grayling.

“My name is Rosa and I’m a MSc Strategy and International Business student at Aston University. It was back in October last year when I first heard about the Birmingham Aspire Mentoring Scheme. After doing a bit of research about it, I realised this was something I definitely wanted to be part of. Two weeks later, application accepted, I became one of the privileged few to be given a place on the scheme and assigned a mentor. The scheme is designed to help students aspiring to work in Birmingham’s BPS (Business and professional services) sector, by partnering them with a professional from their prospective area of expertise. Going into the scheme, I believed it had the potential to boost my employability by gaining valuable knowledge, experience and industry contacts. I can now say that already my expectations have been exceeded after one week working at Grayling.

I was partnered with Penny Thorp, a young and talented PR Account Manager at Grayling’s Birmingham office. Penny and the Grayling Midlands team gave me a taster of what it’s like to work with major brands and their PR projects. I was guided through the communication strategies for some of their clients, personally getting the chance to work on the social media content calendar of Carillion and Ketel One Vodka. Throughout the placement, I also worked with Ellie, the Digital Manager, who excellently explained the creative process used on successful campaigns for clients such as Paypal and Ketel One Vodka.

This placement has made me realise how important it is to enjoy your work and the environment around you. The friendly environment and great work ethic Grayling has towards PR has made me reconsider my career goals after finishing my masters. Before this placement I had never considered developing my career in PR, thinking it was like a branch of journalism, but now that I have a greater understanding, my interest has grown. I loved learning about the different methods of connecting brands with their customers through traditional and digital platforms.

I would like to thank BPS for introducing me to Penny at Grayling, and opening the door to invaluable practical experience in a leading PR company. Penny, Ellie and the whole team at Grayling have given me great advice towards my career and helped me develop my communication skills, which I’m very appreciative of. I really enjoyed my week and I will continue to improve my abilities building on what I’ve learnt from the Aspire Mentoring Scheme.”