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Supercharging the Job Hunt: DWP Mentoring Circle

Mindera - United Kingdom - UK Team

2024 Feb 15 - 1min. Read


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DWP Mentoring Circle

DWP Mentoring Circle

On Wednesday 31st January, our London office was abuzz with many visitors - partners, members from the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP), Mindera and jobseekers alike all huddled together for our Mentoring Circle event in collaboration with the DWP.

What is the Mentoring Circle, we hear you ask? Well, this initiative from the DWP is designed to increase and inspire confidence, motivation, and career search skills for jobseekers, helping them on their career path to secure employment - raising their aspirations, and fostering a can-do approach.

Our very own Richard Hilsey kicked off the event, as well as introducing both Omobola Odutayo MBE and Dave Ashdown from DWP, who outlined the purpose of Mentoring Circles, along with their commitment to supporting jobseekers in London and Essex. We also had the joy of having our clients, Ian Mahoney and Robin Laing from New Look, and Gary Stevens from Trainline – all of whom shared invaluable tips and advice for the attendees.

Ian and Robin led a fascinating talk on the range of jobs, from in-person sales at store level to their impressive tech team at HQ, and how they all contributed to making it the high street giant they are today. They spoke about their own personal journeys, the importance of following your passion, and how different interests can lend themselves to different skill sets.

We were also thrilled to have Gary speak to the audience about Trainline’s journey to becoming one of the leading travel technology apps in the business - and how Trainline implements its technology across a range of its services. He also shared the range of roles across their European offices, and the variety of talent they look for across the hiring process.

two photos side by side of the mentoring circle organisers

Our Minders on the day

We’re deeply thankful and proud of our Minders who contributed to the event. We had insightful talks on empowering neurodivergence from Elicia Boni, as well as a powerful reminder of the importance of believing in yourself and recognising where your strengths lie from Mindera’s Debbie Pejica and Gemma Forrest

Debbie has worked in many areas of tech and has a true passion for the value that technology can bring to both people and companies. She’s worked in many countries all over the world and was excited to impart her learnings to our audience. The insightful talk centred around believing in yourself, staying curious, enjoying what you do, and appreciating everyone’s differences.

Debbie highlighted, "We often think that to believe in ourselves means we have to know it all and have all the answers. I disagree with this and think it is ok to not know everything and be comfortable exploring and asking questions.

“With some of the roles I have had, I don’t think I was quite ready for them, but having an inner quiet confidence and belief that it is ok to not be quite ready is what has enabled me to put myself forward. When starting something new, it is easy to start from a position of dread - how am I going to do this? Believing in yourself can help to move you to a feeling of excitement, knowing you will figure it out, and you don’t have to have all the answers.

“Another key focus of my talk was on curiosity and learning. Learning helps to have an open mind, which leads to more creativity. Asking questions and exploring is a great way to learn. This was key advice I wanted to share with our audience.

“Remember, we all have value to add, irrespective of our sex, our race, our backgrounds, our beliefs, our values etc. It can be fascinating to take the time to listen to others around you and to seek out differences because with that, you will have a much richer experience in your working life, and in your life overall. Everyone you come into contact with has value to add, so seek it out!”

Gemma's passion and expertise lies in supporting people, their growth and equity and inclusion for all. Gemma led a CV skill workshop, which gave attendees better insight on how to create an impressive resume, as well as top tips to fine-tune their interview skills. Attendees had the opportunity to get specific feedback on their personal CV's, enabling them to get tailored, relevant feedback from our team and our partners on the day. The aim here was to showcase exactly what goes into a tech CV. Most importantly, the participants at the event could chat with our speakers and network between themselves and the speakers.

Gemma commented “I am honoured to have been involved in delivering a CV top tips workshop and in collaboration with Ian, Robin, and Gary from New Look and Trainline, we shared all about our recruitment process and our dos and don'ts for a successful interview. The CV workshop gave the attendees the opportunity to match CVs to job specs, think critically, and be able to take away improvements for their CV.”

Two photos side by side of Minders, figures from the DWP and our partners during the event.

Wrapping up

A massive thank you to Omobola Odutayo MBE, Jemima Gosnold, Jane, Dave, and Domenico DELLI CARRI from the DWP who joined us in person, shared their experiences, and supported the attendees. We’d also like to thank our partners Ian Mahoney, Robin Laing, and Gary Stevens for taking the time to join us and share some of their invaluable wisdom.

As part of this partnership with DWP, we have also offered the attendees complimentary spaces on our Mindera Code Academy, where they can join a five-month front-end coding skills course to kick-start their career in tech.

Thank you to everyone who attended, we loved seeing you all, and many more events like this to come in the future!

two photos side by side of figures involved in organising the event.


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About Mindera - United Kingdom

UK Team

Mindera is a software engineering company that loves people. We discuss ideas, take risks, and solve problems together. Mindera - United Kingdom is one of the group's companies and its headquarters are in Leicester, one of England’s oldest cities.

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