If you don’t have many contacts in the creative industries, mentoring is a great way to gain expert advice for getting ahead in your career. Former ITV x Creative Access mentee, Wakai Muganiwah talks about how her mentoring experience shaped her career aspirations and helped her gain confidence and the skills for applying to internships and roles in the TV industry.
For a very long time I have known my desire to work within the media and communication industry. Yet, as a University of Leeds journalism student, I had been confused on where to start my journey and how to begin filtering towards my dream career.
While I had known about Creative Access for years prior to my mentorship, I had never truly looked at the incredible opportunities it had to offer. I was slightly lost in an abundance of career aspirations and goals, so when I came across the Creative Access mentoring scheme in the summer of 2021, it felt like a perfect opportunity to get clarity on where I was going in life and when I was allocated Paul Moore, the Group Corporate Affairs and Communications Director at ITV, I was ecstatic. I was surprised at how perfect the pairing seemed. A communications director who had been in a variety of disciplines would be extremely helpful in guiding me towards narrowing down the career I desired.
“I can truly say the advice and guidance I received was invaluable.”
Initially, I had been extremely nervous to begin this mentorship scheme, but the ease and the support I received throughout the process, from both my mentor and the Creative Access team alleviated all of my preliminary anxiety. Over the six months of mentoring over zoom, I can truly say the advice and guidance I received was invaluable. We completed a variety of tasks and exercises that helped me begin exploring my passions more in order to compact them into tangible careers.
- We completed CV workshops, where Paul guided me in improving my CV to entice employers and capitalise on my skills and work experiences. Through these workshops I can truly say my CV improved immensely and helped me acquire some of the incredible placements and internships I have today.
- Practice/mock interviews were extremely helpful in preparing me for future interviews. We practiced under the guise that I was interviewing for a role in media and communications and my mentor acted as an employer in a well-known media organization. After the exercise I was given constructive feedback on ways to improve my interview techniques.
- Guidance on how to write a cover letter, something that I can truly say became one of the core elements to the success of my applications. I had previously not recognised the significance of cover letters when submitting job applications, particularly paired with a tailored CV.
It goes without saying how lucky I was to get this help in the aftermath of the pandemic. Like so many in my position, finding such incredible placements felt intangible because of the socio-economic effect of the pandemic. Several months on, I have two 3-week placements and a year internship with Discovery – a role that I applied to through Creative Access. I would not have had the confidence to apply for the amazing opportunities I got had it not been for my mentor’s encouragement, from his help with my CV and cover letters to the interview exercises.
I applied for this mentorship with the aim of guiding me into the right direction to begin starting my career and guiding me on what else I can do alongside my studies to begin my career, yet I got so much more. I honestly cannot express how much of an incredible opportunity it was to talk to and get guidance from an industry expert. These schemes are important because they allow students and young people like me the opportunity to be seen!
Despite applying the scheme on a whim and not expecting too much, I received so much more than I could have asked for. Not only did I acquire an incredible contact, but I gained an extremely enriching experience. I never understood the value of having a mentor to help guide you through the extremely confusing industrial work. It is not easy to start a career in the creative industry, but I was fortunate enough to get such an amazing advisor.
The Creative Access mentoring schemes have created an enormous difference to my personal and professional life. It has given me insight and advice that I would have otherwise never acquired and it has cemented Creative Access’ determination to help people like me.