In brief with… Zoe Mitchell, Learning Mentor

Published: 6 Jun 2018

Tell us about your job 

Zoe Mitchell

I am officially employed by UEA, who are partners with Villiers Park for the Norfolk Scholars Programme. My role is to raise the aspirations of each Scholar I work with through mentoring and skills-focused events. This looks different for every Scholar. For some, it’s encouraging them to apply to a leading university, for others it’s helping them to realise that their dream career is worth pursuing. It’s my job to help them get there.

What can a typical week look like?

Most of my time is spent in schools meeting with students for either individual or group mentoring sessions but other projects and opportunities are always cropping up. Last week I spent three days at Villiers Park with our Year 10 students for their first residential. This week I’m attending a conference in Cambridge about how we, as outreach practitioners, can support Muslim communities in progressing onto higher education. Next week I’m presenting on the benefits of sustained and personalised mentoring at a conference at which a Member of Parliament and an employee from the Department of Education are also talking.

What do you love most about your job?

Definitely how much variety there is. You need to be creative in order to develop resources to make mentoring sessions interesting and memorable. You need to be able to write an engaging workshop session and then have the confidence to deliver it to 30 students. Sometimes a student will have had a bad day and just need someone to talk to. When a student tells you they wouldn’t have made it through their GCSEs without you, it makes it all worthwhile.