Why did you decide to join Urban Synergy?
Well, I haven't really been exposed to opportunities like that before, and it's something that always made me feel at a disadvantage. From a young age, I had big aspirations but didn't really know how I could achieve them. So, opportunities like this, where someone can mentor you and make the future seem less scary, have been really helpful. I thought I'd give it a try.
What would you say was the best part of the programme?
The best part of the programme for me was the attention of having a singular mentor. It allowed us to have a close enough bond and learn more about each other as people. This made the programme seem more comforting. My mentor made me feel comfortable, and I felt like I was actually learning and had someone to turn to for help when I was lost. That was the best part for me.
What skills did you learn through this experience?
One of the top skills I learned from this experience is networking. Before joining, I would have never believed that I could go up to a group of adults and start talking about what I want to do and asking them about their own aspirations. It just sounded terrifying. But through this program, I've been able to develop this important skill, which is crucial in all industries, especially in law. I also learned skills like presenting, conducting myself around others, and the value of teamwork. It provided a network of other mentees, creating a sense of friendship and bond.
Were you facing any particular challenges before joining the programme?
Before joining the programme, I was quite a shy person, and I felt like it was holding me back. The idea of work experience or interacting with people on that level was scary to me. Moreover, coming from an area where not many kids get accepted into such opportunities, I struggled with believing in myself and my capabilities. It helped me overcome these challenges and gave me the confidence to pursue my goals.
Did the e- mentoring programme help you decide on your future career?
Yes it definitely influenced my decision. I was already leaning towards law but it gave me more of an insight to it. Learning about CV’s and creating a strong Linkedin profile were crucial for preparation. Also, understanding the social aspect of networking in law became clear to me through my involvement with Urban Synergy. Once I realised I could do it, it made my dreams feel more achievable. So yes it definitely had a significant impact on my choice.
Tell us a bit about your university adventure and the incredible opportunity that awaits you at Oxford?
I received an offer from Oxford University, and I can't help but feel excited about the prospect of university. It's going to be an incredible experience, especially considering that many of my peers who will be studying the same course share a similar mindset and interests. I've chosen to study French initially and then pursue a law conversion course.
Did the guidance from Urban Synergy and experienced professionals make you feel more confident about starting your university journey?
Interestingly, my decision was influenced by a networking event I attended through Urban Synergy. I had the opportunity to engage with a couple of barristers, one of whom had taken the law conversion route while the other pursued a law degree. When I asked for their advice, they both guided me towards the law conversion path, emphasising that if I have a true passion for a specific subject, it's worth studying it and then converting to law. This way, I can still achieve my goal of becoming a lawyer. I'm genuinely content with the choice I've made, and I feel incredibly grateful to Urban Synergy for providing me with such a valuable opportunity
Is there anything else that you would like to tell us about your experiences with urban synergy?
The Urban Synergy team has done an amazing job of making me feel welcomed. It's reassuring to see that despite being leaders of a successful charity, they remain down-to-earth people which makes the entire process feel less intimidating.