Over the past five years, together with some of my JD colleagues, I’ve been mentoring students at local schools as part of the Career Ready programme. Career Ready is a UK-wide charity linking employers with schools and colleges to open up the world of work to young people. Students can benefit from a paid summer internship – and one-to-one mentoring with a business person, giving the student an insight into working life and direct support for their coursework.

As well as mentoring, at JD we’ve also delivered a marketing masterclass to students at a local college and I sit on the Career Ready Management Board for an FE college in South London. It’s been a rewarding experience and has taught me a lot.

Joining the Career Ready programme is hard work for students and mentors and doesn't suit everybody. As a student, you need to be prepared to put in extra study, live up to a leading company's expectations of its employees and be ready to work as part of a team. Tutors will push you and business people will have high demands and expectations. For mentors, you have to be a good listener and be open to changing your perspective, putting the student first and leaving your needs at the door. Each relationship is as individual as the people involved.

For more information, visit the Career Ready website: careerready.org.uk/