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Gemma recently completed a BSc in Digital Media Design and Development at the University of Greenwich. She just started working for CGI as a digital marketing and social media assistant, a role she largely attributes to the help of her mentor, Preneeta, from Salesforce, and the FastFutures programme altogether.

“We got to know each other more and found out more about ourselves, as well as what I wanted to get out of the mentorship. She first helped by listening to what I wanted to get out of the mentorship and then provided what I needed. That was mostly job prospects, but because I didn’t have a really good CV, she gave me a whole list of links to help and went through it to help me to improve.”

“We had three one-hour sessions and throughout those sessions we were just talking, really communicating. And that alone was a really fun experience. But at the same time I was learning about job interviews, job applications, CVs, all important stuff!”

Gemma felt improving her CV was a foundational step in her job search. Once she made some modifications, she was in a better position to apply for jobs. Within one week, she had two interviews, and once again called upon Preneeta for advice.

“She arranged a mock interview with me and gave me feedback, then sent me interview questions with example answers.”

The mock interview with her mentor not only prepared Gemma for her actual interviews later in the week with likely questions and answers, but installed a renewed confidence in her communication ability. This allowed her to feel more comfortable when speaking to virtual strangers. Speaking to people virtually is a new thing we all have had to understand these past two years. Being at University, this change in how the degree is structured can be especially confronting, with limited time to speak with peers and lecturers.

“It was nice to see a person on the screen and for them to see me as well. Then we could actually talk and communicate. Throughout uni this past year, our online learning was basically our lecturer on the screen, with our cameras shut off, so it was a complete social change to actually communicate with someone on a more human level.”

Overall, Gemma really enjoyed her mentoring experience, and the FastFutures programme as a whole. She found it integral to her job search and the skills taught on the programme and drawn out by her mentor led to full-time employment in her desired career.

“Preneeta was an amazing mentor. Overall, throughout the whole of the 12 weeks on the programme, she was always there when I needed her. With FastFutures in general, it’s been an amazing experience. It’s helped me to get where I am today. I’ve used the skills that I learned on FastFutures and applied that into gaining my new job.”

Nilesh Jha