Each year mentors from Clifford Chance support students from a Newham Secondary School. Through a series of face-to-face meetings, as well as regular e-mentoring contact, students work through self-selected targets with the support and guidance of their mentors.
Our mentoring programme is structured so as to ensure that students are able to benefit from one-to-one guidance from a dedicated and experience business mentor. Particularly at this challenging time in the educational journeys, students really benefit from the chance to share ideas, discuss concerns, and gain advice from a mentor.
At the start of the programme, students work with their mentors to develop a set of targets; these may be career-related, personal, or academic. From there, the partnerships work flexibly towards the targets and keep in touch via our e-mentoring system.
The programme begins with a detailed training sessions, which prepares the participants for the programme and ensures that the expectations are clear.
The pairings meet for the first time at the school; students get a real sense of pride from welcoming their mentors to their school, and the mentors benefit from having an insight into the day-to-day life of the students.
There are three further meetings throughout the academic year, which take place at Clifford Chance in Canary Wharf. At these meetings, the partnerships take part in a short skills-based task, before spending the majority of the time catching up on their progress.
Between all of the meetings, the partnerships are set up with an e-mentoring email, which allows them to keep in contact at any time.
The programmes support students not only in meeting their targets, but in being able to set their own targets for future goals too. Further employability skills are developed throughout the programme, such as communication, independence, and dedication.
The personalised nature of the mentoring programme with Clifford Chance is what makes it so impactful for the students taking part. The chance to collaborate with an adult outside of a school or home context is truly unique, and the mentors really do act as a sounding board for any questions, queries, or concerns that students may have about their futures.
We have found that the business mentoring works best when the partnerships have the flexibility to explore different ideas, but are also provided with some structure and monitoring. We will continue to ensure that each mentor and mentee pairing makes the most out of this programme.