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Lara Ismail

Economics and Management BSc, 2019. Analyst, J.P. Morgan. Diversity Mentor, 2020/2021.

Lara Ismail

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

As a woman and member of a minority community, it means a lot for me to be able to support my peers and increase their representation across professional sectors, particularly in the finance sector where I work. I believe that cultivating inclusive work environments with varied perspectives is integral to improving decision making capabilities and driving innovation. Additionally, having received lots of career support during my time as a student at King’s, I really value giving back to the KCL community and offering the insights I acquired over the years.

What did you do personally to make the most out of this programme during these 6 months?

I connected with my mentee frequently to check in on his internship applications, CV and cover letters and provide guidance where necessary. I also helped with practice interviews and refining answers. When things were looking a bit tough, I suggested other career paths/roles within his preferred sector that he may not have considered initially, and shared relevant career events or articles I came across.

Your biggest success (e.g., helped my mentee get an internship or new job, learned more about being a good mentor, helped them with job applications, CV writing, different industries’ insights, etc.)

I helped my mentee throughout his application processes, from the CV and cover letter to practice interviews. He managed to secure an internship offer for this summer!

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

Always have a positive attitude! While you may be a great candidate, competition for jobs is fierce and you shouldn’t be disheartened if you don’t receive offers on your first try. Take each application process as a learning experience which can help you better identify not only your strengths and weaknesses, but also your interest in that career option. Remember to always ask for feedback from your interviewers and use that to improve your future performance.

Why is it important for you to support current students?

While I was applying to jobs at university, I often sought out the guidance of my lecturers, students in the years above me and the King's Careers office. This support network was very valuable to the start of my professional journey, and I feel that it is important to reciprocate that value. Investing in younger generations is to act not only in their best interest, but in the interest of our own future wellbeing, considering their role and the impact that role will have on society.