My Yearly Children

I count myself very lucky in everything I do - the TV work, the writing, the places I get to visit and the people I meet. But of it all, what means the most to me is the careers work.

It's how I've come to think of it - as my yearly children.

Each year, I get to mentor a couple of students from Exeter University who want to find their way into a career in the media.  And one of the great delights is watching them grow.

I usually meet someone brimming with talent, but a little unsure of their place in the world and their future. And all I do is nudge and shape, provide some thoughts and guidance, and off they go and do it.  It's that simple.

For a relatively small amount of effort and input, the rewards are enormous - both for me and for them.

I was fortunate to be invited to a celebration lunch at the university last week, and asked to say a few words about what it meant, to be a mentor. 

I won't bore you with the speech, aside from the conclusion.  You know how we hacks like a bit of hype and a soundbite?  I summed up by calling mentoring not just a win win, but a double win win. 

A win win win win, if you like!

The mentee benefits with finding a future.  The mentor with the wonderful warm and fuzzy glow that comes with doing something worthwhile.  The university with another successful outcome for a student, and, perhaps most of all, society benefits - with a fine addition who will go on to make a difference to our world in a very positive way.

On the subject of mentoring, I was also invited to Exeter School last week, to talk about careers in the media -

Simon Exeter school careers.jpg

(A tip - if you take pictures from the back, you can't see whether the students are nodding off.)

Thanks to all the group and staff for making me so welcome, and such an enjoyable session.  A week on, and the wonderful warm and fuzzy inner glow persists. 

Lucky me, indeed.

Don't forget, if you're interested in me giving a talk about careers in the media, or any area of my writing or teaching work, you can get in touch via the contact page of the site -