Khadija’s story

Khadija’s story

From my perspective, the biggest challenge facing young people today is deciding what career path to go down. Between Year 8 and Year 10 I changed my mine five times; I wanted to be a detective, zoologist, chef, doctor and lawyer.

In the end, I chose law. I love criminal dramas because they’re all real-life cases that have been adapted slightly, and that really piqued my interest.  

So, I decided I wanted to be a barrister. I knew it would be hard but rewarding. That’s why I took part in the Access Ashurst mentoring programme (even though none of my friends did!) and gaining connections from it has been amazing! 

The best advice my mentor gave me was about checking modules for each degree programme. She told me to look carefully at what they’re actually teaching in the degree, and it was a revelation. That’s how I ended up choosing my university. I read the modules and thought I want to learn all those things! You have to like what you’re learning. 

I got on really well with my mentor; she was the kind of person who got on with everyone. I’m a socially anxious person so I learned a lot from her by copying the way she initiated and carried on conversations. I’m grateful for her indirectly teaching me that.  

Mentors are there to help you, it’s why they volunteered. If they don’t know the answer to your question, they’ll find someone who does. Mentoring will grow your connections and the skills you don’t even know you need.  

If you lack confidence or social skills, mentoring is a great way to improve that, as well as helping you clarify your thinking and solidify your ideas.  

Want to have a positive impact on young people?

We’re always looking for new mentors. Everyone has a unique perspective to bring!

Mentee stories

Aliza’s story

Mentoring was so important for me, especially during a lockdown where you only see the people you already know. You get to connect with someone you’d never speak to outside of school and that’s really important because it forces you out of your comfort zone.

Divleen’s story

I’m now a total nerd about mentoring. I talk about it all the time! 

Elisha’s story

My GCSEs were during the pandemic, so when it came to sit my A Levels, I hadn’t done exams before. It was really stressful. But thankfully, my Brightside mentor gave me lots of good advice. He was reassuring and told me to sit for a minute then do the best I could.  

Rano’s story

I knew I wanted to be a lawyer but I was concerned about the workload. My mentor was a working lawyer, so not only gave me advice about my UCAS application and interview questions, but also reassured me that you don’t need to overwork yourself to be successful. He told me about his personal experience of finding balance and saying no, and reminded me how important enjoying your free time is.

Simran’s story

I always wonder whether I’d be thinking or feeling the same about university if there wasn’t a pandemic. I completely lost that in-person interaction and was struggling with the UCAS application because of it. But then, if there hadn’t been the pandemic, I wouldn’t have been able to do the virtual work experience and use the Brightside platform.

Caitlin’s story

My mentor was lovely; we bonded over our pets and that made me feel more connected to her. She made me feel calmer about applying via UCAS and the interviews process. It was so easy to talk to her because she’s not much older than me.