Why did you decide to seek the help of a mentor at King's?
When I first came to King’s I was quite surprised at the relative lack of diversity in some areas. I really wanted to find someone who looked more like me and had a similar background to me – a leadership figure. I felt that if I met someone who had done well at King’s, so could I.
At the time, I was interested in becoming a barrister, so initially I tried to find a black barrister that I could contact myself, but I struggled. However, I spoke to King’s alumni office, and through their mentoring programme, they matched me with Mark Afeeva, a King’s alumnus and barrister at Matrix Chambers. He’s amazing!
When we first met it was so refreshing to hear him say, ‘you know what? You might not be at the most diverse place in the world, but it's fine. Make the most of every opportunity.’ And I felt like if he could do it, then so can I. Although I did secretly say to myself ‘make sure you do it a little bit better than how he did it!’ He'd done really well, so I knew I was setting myself a challenge.
How have you benefited from having a mentor?
I’ve benefited so much. From having my CV reviewed and corrected to having conversations about being confident and remaining focused on my studies despite getting stuck into university life positively, I’ve learnt so much. Mark shared so much advice, both personal and academic. He gave me a sense of what it’s like outside King’s and where I could get to if I worked really hard. It’s been a brilliant experience!
Why do you think having a mentor is important?
Seeing is believing. It is important to be guided. In a world that has become so digital, we need to make greater efforts to interact with human beings. Mentorship is a great way of doing this.