July 22, 2017
Central to the CMN programme is a commitment to helping young people from diverse backgrounds build their networks. According to research by the Educational Endowment Foundation, young people who make 4 or more professional connections before leaving school are 5 times more employable, and earn up to 18% more. We aim for every student who goes through the programme to make at least 4 new connections. And Momina is an excellent of example of how access to these networks can have a huge impact on better representation in the creative industries.
Momina, a 6th Form student at St Angela’s school in Newham, came through the programme in early 2017. Currently studying for A-Levels, when she leaves education her ambition is to work as a Creative Producer. According to Momina this forward-thinking comes largely from the clarity she gained through being on the CMN programme, “It has helped make my choice of career path in the future much clearer” she explains.
Gemma Glover, Influencer Strategist at Engine agency DF and Momina’s mentor, supports this idea, explaining,
“Momina is really ambitious and I feel like the CMN experience has helped her discover what she wants to do in the future, it has also opened her eyes up to an industry she had no idea about.”
Crucially, during their time together, Gemma was able to act as a gatekeeper to opportunities at the agency. Momina met creative professionals working in all types of roles in the agency, giving her critical insight into the industry and the routes in. Because CMN mentor meeting are all scheduled at a mentor’s place of work, Momina got a first hand sense of what working in an agency was all about: what people wear, how they interact, and all the different stages and people that contribute to a piece of advertising.
Gemma also helped Momina to obtain work experience with Engine's live events and brand experience agency, Slice; as well as setting her up with a day on a shoot, where she was surprised by the attention to detail: “They were doing six pictures for Instagram and it took two days! The attention to detail is amazing!"
“With the new connections I’ve made, I feel much more confident and excited about starting my career.”
Chris Jarvis, Careers Adviser for St Angela’s, lauds this aspect of the programme, and the “sense of empowerment that the students gain from having been given the opportunity to really engage with their career ideas.”
Alongside building networks, Gemma and Momina worked together to build soft skills. Momina recognises her “Presenting skills, confidence, how to approach new people, and how to get my point across in an articulate manner” have all developed through working with her mentor, something that Gemma also noticed, “she is a totally different person from the first time I met her, much more confident, can hold a conversation, knows what she wants and asks thoughtful questions.”
Their work together culminated in recent presentation to some of the team at WCRS, amongst them Integrated Project Manager, Liz Boothby, who described Momina’s presentation as “confident, refreshingly honest and engaging.”
The parallel development of soft skills and professional networks stands Momina in good stead to achieve her ambition of becoming a Creative Producer. And we have every belief in her ability to succeed.
Agencies like WCRS are supporting CMN to invest in developing diverse talent from a younger age. Head of Human Resources at Engine, Jessica Anderson-Ramshall explains their involvement in the programme,
"WCRS are constantly looking for opportunities to engage individuals who may not have previously considered a career in advertising. In demystifying our world we hope to inspire this audience and begin pipelining fantastic new talent. We believe a more diverse workforce increases the quality of our work and positively impacts the bottom line. Our collaboration with Pitch-It/CMN provides a great opportunity for our employees to train as mentors and develop new skills, and for young talent to work with their mentors to help develop their future career paths."
If we want to industry to change, we need to start reaching out to schools and colleges, making sure young people from all backgrounds understand the opportunities open to them in the creative industries and feel confident to go for them! To find out more about putting your employees through out Mentor Development Programme >>go here