What Happened during Mondays Speed Mentoring Session
Written by By Hannah Makonnen
Fashion Minority Reports
“Sometimes I feel intimidated when I go to networking events, but here it felt like I could go up to anyone.” Saarah Patel, a 23 year old MA student studying Fashion Communications at Nottingham Trent, traveled from Leicester to attend our third Speed Mentoring session on Monday evening at Soho Friends in Shoreditch. She was paired with two mentors who she got to spend half an hour with each, where she had the opportunity to ask for advice, experience and simply a chance to meet someone new from the fashion industry.
With one of her mentors being Christopher Surez, Co-founder of Ziggurat Ventures, she explained, “it was clear he is surrounded by such creative people and knew so much about the industry, I couldn’t stop writing notes, he even mentioned that he would try and put in touch with someone aligned with my creative field”.
It is because of experiences like this, that Fashion Minority Report values the importance of mentoring, and what it can do for young professionals looking to enter the creative industry. Trying to enter an industry built on an unequal platform, whether that be due to race or social class, is no easy feat and our Speed Mentoring sessions are set up in an effort to proactively address this imbalance.
Wondering what the experience was like for the mentors, we spoke to Lily Cornell, Head of collections at Martine Rose. “I remember being a confused 20 year old, trying to make the right choices and not knowing what to do. Which is why it was amazing to be able to give some advice. To just chill, finish your degree, get as much experience as you can, don’t worry, no experience is the wrong experience.”
For 21 year old mentee, Ijeoma Chuku, studying BSc Business Management at King’s College London, this opportunity provided her with information about how to build her clothing brand CHUKU and how to go about getting a placement for her third year. “Being in the middle of searching for a placement, it can get tiring constantly reaching out to people without having a face to a name. It was a breath of fresh air to actually get to talk to someone in person and be in such a dynamic environment.”
The struggle to make progress in this industry is much more difficult when done alone. Which is why pairing industry professionals with young creatives takes a bit of weight off the mentees shoulders and creates a bit more transparency. With our three past successes, we look forward to our fourth mentoring event coming in a few months time. Be sure to check our Events page for news on the next chance to get involved, as receiving support at such an early stage in your career could provide you with better sense of direction for your future career pursuits.