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Rida Bokhari

International Marketing MSc, 2017. Content Creator & Marketing Freelancer. Diversity Mentor, 2020/2021.

Rida Bokhari

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

Having served at various roles with King’s including Alumni Mentor and Alumni Ambassador for Pakistan (current), this role was very different from the rest. I had been mentoring alumni and current students during the past years, but this was a different experience for me to formally pair up with a Mentee through the Diversity Mentoring Program. This program provided me with a great opportunity to bring together my passion to support women empowerment with the focus being female mentees, and support the under-represented by being a mentor for those belonging from ethnic minorities. Hence, bringing together female empowerment and supporting the minorities through one platform.

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

As my mentee was a junior in the same program as mine - International Marketing MSc, it gave me the opportunity to have informative discussions regarding new trends, industry news, and the latest happenings. Personally, I was able to get a very diverse perspective on marketing as a whole, and was able to learn how a future leader of tomorrow – from a very different culture than my own interprets, analyses and applies the techniques. It was a two-way discussion, which was very enlightening for both of us, and personally it gave me a lot of insights into how a country which is very different than mine could embrace and practice the same theories.

Your biggest success?

The mentoring experience had been a great one, and it comprised of various successes and not a single one. My mentee had come to the UK from a very different cultural background and I am glad to have had the chance to support her and become a friend to her at a time, when she was new to the country and the academic system and was also under immense pressure of studying with a Covid-19 lockdown in place. It was truly a moment of pride for me when my Mentee stood up for a role at a King's College London society as a committee member, and when compared to the initial hesitation as an international student to the point of taking up leadership roles and performing well academically was truly a big achievement.

A key part of my mentoring sessions include giving tips for confidence building and encouraging students to avail opportunities and make the most of their time as an international student. I am truly glad that these 6 months gave me the opportunity to work with an immensely talented girl, and I was able to see some wonderful results from her end – and fulfillment of the goals that we had set at the start of the program.

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

My advice to future applicants would be to familiarize themselves with the study skills and academic facilities available on-campus earlier on during their settling in stages at King’s, in order to be able to use the available resources alongside the mentoring sessions from the start. Another advice for all mentees would be to set broad goals in mind prior to the start of their degree and when applying for the mentoring program, to have clear targets as to what they wish to achieve by the end of the six months in alignment with their academic year.

Why is it important for you to support current students?

Mentoring plays a key role in helping an individual explore new horizons, and go beyond the extra mile to achieve their goals and aims. Just like any other international student, I had been in a similar phase initially of not knowing anyone and coming in from a different academic setup. I personally feel that is the time when students need the most support and encouragement. I truly believe that the starting phase sets the right tone and energy for the rest of the year and is the make or break point. Therefore, I believe that this is the time when the students require the most attention. I am truly honoured to be in a position in my capacity as an Alumni Ambassador for Pakistan, to be a source of support for current students, prospective students, offer-holders, as well as the alumni community.