Each month we are introducing the wonderful mentors that support the Big Ideas programme, in a feature we call ‘Meet the Mentor’. The programme and the students on it simply would not be the same if we didn’t have this mentor support from our business and community partners, and the mentors themselves get an awful lot out of it too. Find out more about the range of interesting and diverse mentors we work with on our Meet the Mentors page on the website!
Allow me to introduce one of our returning mentors from our South East region – Paddy Grace
Name: Paddy Grace
Position: Group Communications Manager – Events, Mears Group
· Please describe your role:
I work in the marketing and communications team for Mears Group and manage all events for the group. This includes conferences, exhibitions, gala dinners, awards evenings and family fun days! Last year we took all employees and their families to Alton Towers for the day as a thank you for all their hard work.
· Please describe your route to this role:
I always liked working with and meeting new people. I chose media studies as a module and went onto do a degree in Sport, Health, Leisure and Media. When I finished university I starting working as a project manager and then worked my way into the events team as I enjoyed the atmosphere and the role! I love organising different types of events- especially the ones at theme parks and football stadiums!
· What advice do you have for young people interested in either following a similar route to you or in working for your business/sector?
The best advice I was ever given was work hard and never give up. Even if you don’t know what you want to do that’s not a problem… as long as you work hard you’ll figure it out and get there in the end!
· Why did you get involved in S4TP’s Big Ideas programme?
It’s great to give something back and help the future of today. I thought I may be able to facilitate some of the ideas pupils had but soon realised it was so much more rewarding.
· What involvement have you had so far?
So far I have attended a Big Ideas Day as a mentor.
· Has participating met your expectations?
More than exceeded my expectations…it was great to interact with the young brains of today and hear some fantastic ideas.
· What has been the best part about participating in the programme?
Witnessing the behaviour changes in the pupils as they progress through the day. The energy and engagement was fantastic as the day went on.
· What has been the most challenging part about participating in the programme?
Obtaining the attention of pupils at the start of the day.
· What have you learnt, through participating, about yourself, the company and sector you work for, young people, schools and skills development?
I have learnt you need to be confident and never give up on anything or anyone.
· What would you say to others considering participating in the programme?
Do it! It is a great experience and very rewarding.
We are proud and grateful to have you on board Paddy – thank you for all your help!
Answers written by: Paddy Grace, Group Communications Manager – Events, Mears Group
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solutions for the Planet Ltd.