Life Of A B!G Mentor
27 January 2023

Life Of A B!G Mentor

Over the past couple of weeks we have held online mentor information sessions. These have been a great way for new, old and potential mentors to get their heads around what it is that we do and to find out what they’ll be doing as a mentor. For anyone not yet signed up, the hope is that this information will turn any food for thought into a feast of inspired action!

On the chat, our Big Cheese, programme founder Kim Mackenzie Doyle explained that the world still has big problems, and we have to think differently to solve them.
“Our education and young people are at risk of not being equipped with what they need to create solutions to these problems, as teaching still takes place in silos, which can inhibit the development of collaborative and divergent thinking skills. Creative thinking (or divergent thinking) connects learning and leaves room for discovery”.

“Our core goal is to give young people a voice.”

Fiona Byrne, Head of Education, The B!G Idea

And wow – what incredible confidence came through in the student voices played, with students telling us how they went from super shy to feeling confident speaking up in groups. From working with others and learning to empathise, they felt included, valued and respected as co-creators with B!G ideas. One student described how she learned to delegate and not take too much on – that’s a life skill right there (that some of us adults still need to learn). Failure is encouraged and wellbeing and confidence are key success metrics in this solution-focused programme, as students become co-creators of socially conscious projects.

Niamh Cooney, Head of Development and Sustainability explained how simple it is to mentor remotely, with the easy-to-use Mentor dashboard now live and eager to help you mentor the next generation of innovators. She pointed out that The B!G Idea is actively seeking out a diverse range of mentors, from CEOs to graduates, in any industry and from anywhere in the world.

Here are 7 extra nuggets of information to help you decide if being a B!G Idea mentor is for you:

1: How many hours are required?
Don’t worry – we only need a total of 2 to 3 hours each year (and those hours can be given according to YOUR schedule).

2: Do we have promo templates you can use for social media?
Absolutely! We love that you want to shout about us to your friends and colleagues and are more than happy to help you do that.

3: What if you can’t commit to the judging process in May?
That’s quite ok – we still love you! Your value will still be experienced by students in part one, when you work with the students on their initial ideas.

4: How is the feedback given?
Feedback is given in writing through the Mentor app, where you will find all of your assigned projects with instructions. And don’t worry, we will even host a short online get-together before that kicks off in February to double check you feel comfortable navigating the system.

5: I missed this awesome information event. What now?
Don’t worry! We’ve got you! Here’s a link to the recording. If you have any questions after watching this, drop Niamh and Alison an email at mentors@thebigidea.ie.

6: Is the App ready now?
It sure is. Once you register, look for ‘The B!G Idea Mentors’ on your app store, enter your details and jump in.

7: This incredible programme would not exist without you!
Thank you to all of our 2023 mentors. We are excited to bring this essential, life-changing programme to teenagers across Ireland and to finally bridge that gap between education and industry. Thank you for helping us do that.

And for anyone that missed either session, grab yourself a cuppa and check out the recording below.

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