Hello, I’m Liz. I’m 30, I live at the end of the Metropolitan line, I’m really in to mini eggs and crime dramas and I’m completely thrilled to be nominated for a WATC Rising Star award! I’ve recently landed a real dream job and this has been the perfect opportunity to reflect on how I got there.

I’ve worked in and around the charity sector for my whole career and I’m such a fan of it; it’s truly full of incredible people doing life changing work. Starting off, I dabbled with fundraising and volunteer management but my real interest lay in people development. Soon after, I had a lightbulb moment; mentoring is my passion! (These moments are few and far between so I pay attention when they happen).

My 20s were a real journey through the working world; I didn’t find it easy and it took me a long time to work out what my strengths were and what I felt good at. Looking back, the thing that really helped me was learning from people around me with experience and who had a story to share. But I know not everyone has access to good role models and that’s why I’m determined to pour my energy in to changing this.

With encouragement from my own role models, I now work as part of the Ethics and Social Responsibility team, at Cass Business School, managing a mentoring programme for schools. It’s a really forward thinking project; the only one of it’s kind in the UK. We introduce a group of undergraduates to the concept of community volunteering, train them up in mentoring skills and then match them to a student from a local school to mentor for 8 weeks. It combines a lot of my passions and I can’t wait to see how it progresses.

Mentoring is such a joy to do I’ve tried to find ways to do it in my spare time too. I volunteer for a few mentoring schemes, including Aspire – a programme for women in the charity sector. I mentor an amazing woman, with a different background to me. We talk often and I get as much from her as she’s hopefully getting from me.

My other big love is helping to raise awareness and money for a couple of breast cancer charities. I can sometimes be found standing at the top of escalators in train stations asking sleepy commuters to pop a pound in the bucket. My biggest challenge is coming up in November –  trekking through Oman for CoppaFeel!