Mentor Spotlight Series

Ever wondered what it’s like to be at the top of your game in the music industry? Or how you become a TV presenter? What about finding out how you get to work for one of the biggest tech firms in the world and then climb through the ranks?

It’s hard to imagine what it’s like if you can only see a long path ahead of you, right?

Having a mentor to offer advice and guide you on your journey can really help you to visualise your future and imagine it as a reality. They can help you plan the best steps to take and how to reach your full potential, making you a better candidate when it comes to actually applying for a job.

We have some exclusive insights from our Apprentice Nation Mentor Sessions to inspire you to get yourself a mentor.

Why Having A Mentor Will Make You A Better Candidate

This month, spotlight is on Ben Cajee one of our popular Apprentice Nation Mentors. Ben is a presenter with CBeebies and BBC Sport, has recently been involved in the BBC Education roll out with BBC Bitesize, as well as starting a Saturday Breakfast Show with BBC Radio Stoke.

There’s always lots to discuss with Ben, such as how to get your first gig as a presenter or voiceover artist. He takes time to chat about building resilience and the importance of taking criticism positively and not letting it stop you from putting yourself out there, especially where the media industry is concerned.

We reckon his tips apply to lots of careers, especially when it comes to developing your voice, putting in the hard work and networking.

Ben’s top tips for getting a head start on the crowd:

  • First up and most importantly – your job doesn’t define you. Treat people properly and have integrity. 
  • Perseverance is key. Building anything is hard work and you’ll need resilience, but if you believe in what you’re doing then don’t give up. 
  • Put in the hard work. It’s not going to just land at your feet – but make sure that you take time to rest and chill when you can.
  • If you’re provided with an opportunity, give it your best shot and make the most of it. No experience is wasted.
  • You need to be able to diversify. Don’t just sit tight and keep doing the same stuff. It’ll help to keep you fresh and creative, whilst hopefully prolonging your chosen career.
  • Try to enjoy what you’re doing as you’re doing it (the journey) instead of focusing on the dream job (the destination).
  • Develop an authentic voice. It doesn’t matter whether I’m on CBeebies or BBC Sport, it’s important to me for people (the audience) to know that I’m the same guy and that it’s not put on.
  • For voiceovers, make sure that you work on your tone, your delivery and intonation. Develop character voices. Like with anything, you’ll only improve if you work hard and keep practicing – and in turn, that’ll improve your confidence!

And finally, networking is key in this industry…Ben says: ‘Be yourself and choose your moment. You have to find a balance between being relentless and being pushy.’

Get your own mentor experience with Apprentice Nation. Check out all our mentors here.

Or perhaps look at your current network and see if there’s anyone you could reach out to ask for help or support.

Next time, we’ll be hearing from Mike Malak, a senior booking agent at Paradigm, with his tips on how to get ahead of the game in the music industry. 

Hear more advice and tips from Ben in his interview with Louis.