Career Mentoring at ReachOut

Shelley Mulville is one of our Career Mentors – experienced professionals who provide advice, support and guidance to mentors on our ReachOut Level Up programme, and our brilliant Project Leaders.

What motivated you to become a Career Mentor?

“I was a mentor to a young person in a ReachOut project in 2020 and loved it, but as my son was starting school the following year and I wanted to be there to pick him up, the school programme didn’t fit.  When I saw the opportunity to be a career mentor , meeting once a month at a time that suited my mentee and me, it was an ideal way to stay connected with ReachOut and do one of the things I enjoy most – using my knowledge, skills and experiences to support others in developing.”

What sort of things did you and your mentee discuss? 

“We talked about a lot, especially when we met in person, from how university is going, future career aspirations, how to explore options, what those options might be, making contact with organisations and people.  As well as a little about our personal lives, home, what we’re doing at the weekend, what we think of different places, and our experiences of different things.”

What did you gain anything from the experience? 

“I get to know and understand another person, their aspirations, what motivates them.  That’s a real honour.”

What did you enjoy most about Career Mentoring?

“Spending time with a lovely person, learning about and learning from their experiences and making use of my knowledge, skills and experiences to help them.”

If you had to give advice to someone becoming a Career Mentor, what would it be? 

“Be you, you don’t have to know it all, explore with your mentee and work through things together…remember the old saying about having two ears and only one mouth. Remember to listen; share experiences positive and otherwise, so others can increase their awareness and understanding through your lessons learnt, as well as where things have gone well; and where you have knowledge or contacts that your mentee doesn’t have, help to connect them.”

Is there anything else you’d like to mention about your Career Mentoring experience? 

“ReachOut is a great organisation to work with, having seen how the children develop through the school programme and the effort the Project Leaders put into making it possible, alongside the ReachOut team, it’s a real joy to support.  I’d recommend it.”

Want to find out more about becoming a career mentor?

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“At first, I was really hesitant to take on the Project Leader role, despite having mentored with ReachOut. However, with the support of the team I’ve really developed my skills. For example, at the Mentee Graduation, I stood up in front of 200 people and presented an award which is something I would never ever have been able to have done before, and isn’t an opportunity I could gain in my other situations.”

Amy McCutcheon, Project Leader at ReachOut Academy, Dean Trust Ardwick, Manchester.


“Being able to spend the summer working at Rede Partners, was an amazing experience. Whether it was working in HR or Finance, I learned so much about the world of private equity, made great connections with fantastic people and I got to learn first-hand what it would be like to work there! I really believe that I can go onto build the career I want now I’ve been a part for a workplace for real”

Victor Adekunle, 18 years old, ReachOut Ambassador, London


“When I first my mentee, she was very reluctant to participate in the sessions. Now, I see a completely different person! Her confidence has grown and she is happy to join in! She still has some self-doubt when it comes to academic work, but that’s what I hope to help her overcome, because she is a very bright person!

Through mentoring, I’ve learnt I’m a lot more patient than I realised. There will be days where she refuses to participate and those are the days that I really see the importance of the character strengths, for both the mentees and the mentors. It also makes it easier for the mentee to understand the character strengths, when I use them myself”

Myrtle, ReachOut Club mentor at Tufnell Primary School, London


“There are more distractions than ever outside of school, and the commitment of our students to attend ReachOut sessions is testament to the value they place on the relationships they foster there, and the challenge and enjoyment they provide.

ReachOut’s focus on communication skills and character development has become an important aspect of our provision of support for these students. The opportunity to relate to a positive role- model other than their usual teachers is key to the programme’s impact, and the evidence of this has been seen in the students’ attendance, resilience and to their overall progress across all the subjects in the school.”

Thomas Janvrin, Assistant Vice Principal at the Petchey Academy London