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RGU's professional mentoring programme supports Nadia on career path

Nadia Hassan WEB
RGU’s Professional Mentoring Programme is one way alumni can support each other as they embark on their careers post RGU. The programme is open to those who study, or have studied with the university, and involves being matched with a career mentor who can offer valuable career advice and experience.

RGU PR graduate Nadia Hassan speaks about her mentorship with Joanna Fraser, Founder of strategic communications consultancy HOOLET

I’m Nadia, I’m 22 and I studied Public Relations at RGU and graduated in July with a 2:1.

Like many graduates, I was anxious entering into the job market, when really there wasn’t one at the time. I decided to sign up for the programme to see if I could gain any advice and learn industry theory from an industry professional. However, what I didn’t expect was to click with Joanna so quickly and gain much more than I had anticipated.

Joanna introduced me to her connections and from there I was able to put my theory that I had learned at university, into practice. Through Joanna’s connections I managed to gain two volunteering opportunities helping with two different company’s social media.

This really helped my confidence and build my skills which will be useful to showcase when entering a new job or new workplace. It was also so beneficial having Joanna’s support and encouragement throughout.

I’m sure many other graduates felt the same as I did - worried and demotivated in such an uncertain time. I am so glad I signed up to the programme as I have managed to meet such lovely people and make great connections.

I would encourage any graduates who are uncertain of signing up to the programme, to sign up. This experience has really helped me as I am sure it helped others who signed up to the programme.

Joanna and I still keep in contact which is great. I am so happy to have been paired with her for the programme, as we got on so well and clicked from the get-go. Now, I am still volunteering and hope to land a grad- job in the near future. I think now more than ever, it is important to remain positive about future opportunities.  

Hear what Joanna has to say about her experience as a Mentor:

When I agreed to take part in Robert Gordon University's Graduate Mentoring Programme, I figured it would be good to help out in some way.

The curse of Covid meant graduates had missed out on their placement, which usually gives them vital insight into the workplace in which they hope to work. I expected a warm glow of reflected gratitude from the experience. What I didn't expect - or had forgotten - was how much I'd get out of it myself.

For many years, I've been fortunate to be able to offer placements to RGU undergraduates. Every time, I am amazed by how much I learn and how much my organisation gains from getting involved. But previous placements I'd hosted had been for months, and involved working alongside each other in the office. The new normal needed a new approach.

In stepped RGU's Graduate Mentoring Programme, a remote relationship formed over the summer months to give graduates access to that industry expertise.

This year I teamed up with PR graduate Nadia Hassan, who went at it all charm guns blazing from the outset. In our first Zoom meeting, she told me all about herself, her plans, hopes and fears for the future. We clicked straight away and talked through what we could get out of working together.

She showed the energy and enthusiasm you would expect from someone starting out in their career, but her underlying determination, depth and strategic thinking was a complete eye-opener. 

What concrete help could I be to her in this apparently barren and hopeless landscape for graduates?

Well of course I can help with my grizzled old opinions, shiny connections and wise words of encouragement. I roped in some of my connections, all of whom were endlessly generous with their time and commitment. Nadia and I formed a plan to get the valuable workplace experience Covid had denied her up until then.

We knew what she was good at and what she wants to do, so how could we use this to build a portfolio and add value to another business at the same time?

With the entire nation seemingly moving online, a PR graduate with brilliant social media skills is an easy sell. Add the sparkling personality and eagerness to learn and everyone should be a winner. Our huge thanks to Simon Morgan, Claire Muir, Kim Stephen and Judith and Emily at Annie Mo's for their help and support in the process.

Nadia might be working for nothing right now but I know the network she is building, the experience she has to call on and the shiny portfolio of work will pay dividends in the future. And I am once more bowled over by the resilience, ingenuity and downright talent of RGU students.

Nadia's innate comfort with technology, her curiosity and honesty is a timely reminder to me that the world isn't doomed and there is always hope. And I'm hoping she will also be able to advise me on that next Insta story...

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