A teenager from Coventry is praising a mentoring scheme designed to inspire professionals of the future.
17-year-old Rachel Dowdy is coming to the end of a two year programme organised by her school, Cardinal Wiseman, which has seen her paired up with mentor Karen Wootton, contract manager at national green services company, Glendale.
Karen was asked by the school if she would be a willing participant in its Inspire Programme, which gives students studying law or business the chance to get valuable industry expertise from experienced business professionals.
As a mentor, Karen has spent the past two years advising Rachel, helping to build her confidence and guiding her through the process of achieving her qualifications.
Karen said: “I’ve worked with the school for the past four years to provide work experience to its pupils and was only too happy to get involved in its Inspire Programme. I feel it is important for us as a company to give something back to the community we work in and a scheme like this can really benefit youngsters.
“For young women it’s really important for them to see their futures in both business and law, as many often lack confidence in their own abilities, and so I was really pleased to be paired with Rachel and impart all that I have learned over the years. I certainly saw that in Rachel at the beginning. Now though, her confidence has grown significantly and the transformation in her is fantastic.”
As part of the programme Rachel also spent four weeks on a paid work placement at Glendale, where she shadowed various aspects of the business.
Rachel said: “Taking part in the scheme has really opened my eyes about the business world and I learned an awful lot from my time at Glendale and from Karen.
“I was expecting to just be making the tea and filing during my work placement, but she gave me loads of responsibility. I even got to go out with a grounds maintenance crew to see the kind of work Glendale does for its clients.”
Once she completes her A-levels, Rachel is aiming to attend Cardiff University to take a business and management studies degree.
She added: “I’m really looking forward to starting my course at university and putting everything I’ve learned from Karen and Glendale into practice.”