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Cristiana Portase

International Management BSc, 2023. Diversity Mentee, 2020/2021.

Cristiana Portase

What does it mean for you to participate in the diversity mentoring programme?

I have to recognise that I was sceptic at the beginning because I did not know whether I would be allocated a mentor that could share the information that I needed but I was more than pleased to work and meet with someone so kind and lovely that I found it a pleasure to have our monthly chat or whenever I felt like communicating with her.

For me, it was like a breath of fresh air where I had the opportunity to ask questions without the fear of judgement and learn so many things, not only about the industry I am interested in, but also about people and their behaviour and how I should act in certain situations.

What did you do personally to make the most out of this programme and above all, of your mentor’s help during these six months?

I particularly found it very interesting that we set some kind of goals to discuss for the next meeting and we had different activities planned: writing in a journal about wishes, trying to narrow down my interests or combining them whenever possible to try and understand myself better. I loved having a virtual gate into someone’s working life since my mentor shared insights about the structure of her programme and how she copes with it.

I definitely think that now I am more confident and more eager to try to explore myself while experiencing all kind of new things.

Your biggest success (e.g., learning about job applications and different industries, getting an internship or new job, CV writing, etc.)

I don’t think there was a physical success, but a rather mental one where I learnt about things, I had no idea about, such as the tips & tricks of writing a CV as well as how to put your personal self into a cover letter, which will help me a lot when applying to internships or future jobs. Even if my mentor was not in the specific area of marketing, the fact that she showed me how the HR section works helped gain a lot of information about what companies are generally looking for in candidates. More than that, she did her best and invited someone she knew that worked in marketing in order to discuss together whatever I was uncertain about which was perfect for me.

What is the biggest advice you would give to future applicants/participants?

My advice for everyone would be to give yourself a chance and experience what you feared until now, whether it is applying for a programme by yourself, getting to know new people, travel alone, discover a new culture or searching for jobs you think you don’t fit in, just let yourself believe, take your wings and fly as high as you can because the opportunities are endless for the ones who have the courage to take that ‘frightening’ step.

And just go, with confidence!

What is the value for you of having an alumni connection?

Even if I must admit that I was not able to meet with the others in this programme, I know that the community that has been created is filled with like-minded people who are here because they love sharing experiences, they love helping and offering a hand when someone is in need and for whom connections are essential. I know for me they truly are since I love meeting people with the same interests or vibes and it is very important to appreciate that an alumni connection could offer you not only opportunities, but also insights into many areas whether they are business related, psychological or just about some friendly talks between members.