Graduate Profile – Mashkura Begum


Mashkura Begum

If you would like to meet Mashkura or have an informal chat about her suitability as a mentee please call us on 0845 505 1875.

“I have actively contributed within my local community by volunteering in and attending youth advancement programs”

Mashkura began her career in 1999 working in Lozells as a Community Development Worker for a youth organisation where she established a number of initiatives that are still successfully being run. She later worked for Black Country Connexions and then for Urban Living (Housing Market Regeneration Programme) as the Community Cohesion and Engagement Manager. She managed a budget of £1.2 million and developed innovative community cohesion programmes working with varied community and voluntary groups.

Since 2011 she has been working for Birmingham Leadership Foundation (BLF), a newly formed not-for-profit organisation. As the Chief Executive, she has commissioned 14 projects and organised a very high profile launch for the organisation at the Council House.

Mashkura volunteers as a trustee for The Bangladeshi Youth Forum (BYF), a grass roots organisation that engages young people, particularly those that are termed ‘as hard to reach’ in areas of personal development, employment and training. She is also a trustee for an organisation called Community Resources Information Services (CRIS) which is based in Northfield but operates citywide. CRIS is nationally recognised as an organisation that successfully works with newly arrived communities. Mashkura has, in the past, been a mentor for Birmingham Mentoring Consortium which has now evolved into an organisation called Pioneers.

Continue Readingred arrow

Graduate Profile – Waheed Saleem


Waheed Saleem

If you would like to meet Waheed or have an informal chat about his suitability as a mentee please call us on 0845 505 1875.

“Waheed Saleem; public sector management consultant, he previously worked as a NHS director and has held non-executive director positions on regional and national boards in the public and voluntary sectors.”

Waheed Saleem is a management consultant working in the public and voluntary sectors. Previously he gained director level experience in the NHS, in areas including, strategic and operational management, commissioning, procurement, contract management, organisational development and stakeholder engagement.

In addition Waheed has gained strategic level experience in a number of areas, as Non-Executive Director of a number of major national and regional public and voluntary organisations. He is currently the chairman of Groundwork West Midlands, Chairman of the BBC Audience Council West Midlands Panel, Trustee of NACRO, Vice Chair of the Lunar Society, Non-Executive Director of Sustainability West Midlands, where he chaired the judging panel for the first 50 Green Leaders competition and Director of NACRO Pension Fund. He previously was Non Executive Director of the National Crime Squad, UK Sustainable Development Commission, Meat Hygiene Advisory Committee, Rail Passenger Committee and the Government Office West Midlands.

Previously he has led major regeneration programmes and advised Government on neighbourhood renewal policy and community development and participated in a special feature for Regeneration and Renewal magazine on future regeneration skills. He has been instrumental in developing leadership programmes for young people and mentors in inner city schools.

He graduated from the London School of Economics in Social Policy and is a fellow of the RSA.

Continue Readingred arrow

Graduate Profile – Miles Weaver


Miles Weaver

If you would like to meet Miles or have an informal chat about his suitability as a mentee please call us on 0845 505 1875.

“Quote Here.”

Miles is a Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management, with research interests in supply strategy and performance management; simulation conceptual modelling and greening the supply chain. He has both a doctorate and first class honours degree from Aston Business School in Birmingham. His interests were shaped from practical experience within the supply departments of GM-Fiat Worldwide Purchasing and Jaguar Cars. Miles has a number of community interests, firstly he was a board member for Brook in Birmingham and now he currently sits on the board of the Birmingham Leadership Foundation. As a teacher, Miles received a Vice Chancellor distinguished teaching award upon the recommendation of DMU students in 2009. His efforts in representation were recognised with ‘Full Guild Colours’ while at Aston serving on the University Council and Senate (re-elected to serve two successive terms). In 2011, Miles made a Channel 4thought discussing his views and experience during the August 2011 riots in Birmingham. He displayed his leadership skills by forming the ‘riot clean up group’ during these disturbances working in partnership and supporting other stakeholders within the city. These efforts were noted by readers of the Birmingham Mail, who awarded the clean up group with a ‘local heroes award’ and the West Midland’s Police recognised Miles as an ‘Outstanding Citizen’ in 2011. Empowering and providing opportunity for young people is at the heart of everything Miles does.

Continue Readingred arrow

Graduate Profile – Leone Martin


Leone Martin

If you would like to meet Leone or have an informal chat about her suitability as a mentee please call us on 0845 505 1875.

“Quote Here.”

Leone Martin is an accomplished young marketer who specialises in direct and small business marketing. Having started her career as an intern at one of the worlds most recognised business to business brands Intel, where she managed a number of high net worth mobile technology accounts, She went on to obtain strong academic success achieving a Marketing Management degree from Manchester Metropolitan University. Before going on to gain a Chartered Institute of Marketing Professional Diploma in Marketing and an Institute of Direct Marketing Diploma in Direct and Digital Marketing. She is currently working toward chartered marketer status.

Leone has gained varied professional experience having worked across a number of sectors including technology, retail and financial services. She currently works within a FTSE 250 financial services company as a Marketing Manager.

The founder of Marketing Matters Direct, Leone is passionate about providing small & start up business owners with the marketing information they need to be successful. Her marketing education and support company works with small business owners, helping to empower them through knowledge of marketing best practice, and supporting them to implement effective marketing processes in order to enable them to attract and retain profitable customers. Leone has developed a marketing diagnostic tool called the small business marketing health check which helps identify areas businesses can improve in order to achieve marketing success. Health checks are offered complimentary to small business owners and have been well received to date.

Leone works closely with the community and has delivered a number of voluntary talks at the Birmingham Chamber of Commence to unemployed individuals who are starting their own business, including creating a informative video with 10 top marketing tips for successful small business marketing.

Leone is grateful for the opportunities and experiences she has had throughout her career to date and is passionate about ensuring other young people have access to opportunities so they are able to develop and excel in what they love. She is currently working with Play Wright Media CIC to develop a youth employment programme called Development Through Marketing which helps young people between the ages 18-23 who are not in employment, education or training develop the soft skills they need to access employment and training opportunities. The programme uses the basic principles of marketing as a vehicle for young people to set goals, identify their target audience, develop a plan to access available opportunities and implement their plan with confidence.

Continue Readingred arrow

Graduate Profile – Lanre Sulola


Lanre Sulola

If you would like to meet Lanre or have an informal chat about his suitability as a mentee please call us on 0845 505 1875.

“Quote Here”

Lanre currently works for Accenture as a Risk Management consultant specialising in Fraud and Financial Crime. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2009. He also sits on the board at Credit Union, NewCred as a Non-executive director.

Lanre holds a Bcom International Business Commerce degree obtained from Birmingham University, part of which also included a year of study at Cornell University, NY.

Lanre has spent many years mentoring young people in his local area. In December 2008 he was appointed a National Reach Role Model, a programme initiated to encourage and motivate young people. This gave him the opportunity to tell his personal story to young people across the country. These talks have often been described as inspirational, purposeful, refreshing and confidence boosting.

Lanre is also a poet and uses his poetry to uplift, inspire and motivate listeners and allow them to understand the importance of life and making the most of it. In 2010, Lanre released a Spoken Word Album, ‘Inner Ambitions’. It has also been used by schools, organisations and top level GB athletes as a source of motivation.

Continue Readingred arrow

Graduate Profile – Kishen Hawkins


Kishen Hawkins

If you would like to meet Kishen or have an informal chat about his suitability as a mentee please call us on 0845 505 1875.

“Kishen has a special interest in Corporate Governance and has consulted for multi-million pound corporations.”

Kishen is the founder and Director of Fast Fwd Multimedia Ltd – a successful Birmingham based Digital Agency that develops websites and builds mobile apps.

He previously served as board director for an international insurance services firm, where he was responsible for internal service provision to offices in 13 countries. Kishen has also consulted for other multi-million pound corporations.

He has led major technology programmes including ERP rollouts and cloud computing migrations. He has also delivered high profile online projects for clients.

He has worked internationally, with assignments in seven countries and is an expert in IT strategy, e-business, online marketing and organisational change management.

Kishen is 30 years old, married and has a degree in Law and an MBA.

He has a special interest in Corporate Governance and built a cloud computing application called CGFirst, to help businesses manage their corporate governance responsibilities.

Kishen is on the council of governors and is a trustee, for St George’s School in Edgbaston.


Continue Readingred arrow

Graduate Profile – Kirsten Henley


Kirsten Henley

If you would like to meet Kirsten or have an informal chat about her suitability as a mentee please call us on 0845 505 1875.

“Kirsten is a keen advocate of Birmingham and wishes to continue promoting and contributing to its ongoing development and growth.”

Kirsten joined Colmore Business District in summer 2010 and works on delivering a variety of projects and schemes including public realm enhancement, transport schemes and cultural initiatives. Before this role, Kirsten graduated from the University of Sheffield with an MA in Political Theory and then joined a local authority in the Town Centre Management team. Kirsten is a member of Birmingham Future’s City Centre Committee.

Kirsten joined Colmore Business District in summer 2010 and works on delivering a variety of projects and schemes including public realm enhancement, transport schemes and cultural initiatives. Before this role, Kirsten worked at a local authority in the Town Centre Management team.

Kirsten graduated from University of Sheffield with an MA in Political Theory. She is currently studying for an MBA at Aston Business School. As part of a team at Colmore Business District, Kirsten recently took part in a 4 day, 80 mile sponsored walk across Hadrian’s Wall helping to raise over £3000 for The Prince’s Trust.

Kirsten is part of the Birmingham Leadership Foundation’s ‘100 Young Leaders’ initiative. In addition to this, she is a member of Birmingham Future’s City Centre Committee which organises events and speakers to inform members on and link them to key city developments and policies. Kirsten is a keen advocate of Birmingham and wants to continue to contribute to, participate in and promote its ongoing development and growth.

Continue Readingred arrow

Graduate Profile – Justice Williams MBE


Justice Williams MBE

If you would like to meet Justice or have an informal chat about her suitability as a mentee please call us on 0845 505 1875.

“Quote Here.”

Justice Williams MBE is Editor in Chief of social business City&Style Magazine, a chic and stylish lifestyle publication for aspirational young women primarily aged 21-35 and founder of Kandid Talent CIC, a creative agency for nurturing talented young individuals and assisting them to achieving their potential through entrepreneurial activity, events, training and activities related to the creative industries.

In 2009 she became the youngest woman of Afro-Caribbean heritage to be honoured with an MBE by the Queen and was awarded Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Most Inspiring Woman of the Year Award and also received a ‘Women to Watch’ award from Red Magazine in 2010. Justice currently sits on the board of The Rosemarie Centre, a day care facility based in Lozells.

Justice lends her expertise on judging panels such as The Brit Writers Award, Young Enterprise and Urban Music Crown and has undertaken a range of speaking engagements from primary schools to the House of Commons and has been invited to Downing Street three times by Sarah Brown, David Cameron and Samantha Cameron. Justice has worked alongside industry leaders such as MTV, Deloitte and as an appointed global ambassador and mentor to young women for Levi Strauss.

Continue Readingred arrow

Graduate Profile – Daniel Blyden


Daniel Blyden

If you would like to meet Daniel or have an informal chat about his suitability as a mentee please call us on 0845 505 1875.

“My career ambition can be summarised are to become a reputable Creative Strategist/Director working to manage and lead/innovate changes in society through digital media and technology.”

Daniel never misses an opportunity to apply his skills and expertise in order to persistently cultivate his professional growth. He has interned in various marketing and communications roles including Tomorrow People Marketing Consultancy, The Future Melting Pot and presently works at Aston University.

Within months of leaving university, he has tendered for, won and successfully delivered a commission for digital Birmingham’s Say Hello Campaign under his own company YEP Media Ltd, working with some of Birmingham’s flagship Arts organisations. He also freelances as a graphic designer/media producer for variety of clients.

Daniel is equally passionate about applying his creative media skills and strategic leadership qualities to the community and voluntary sector. He acts as communications director at Aston-Newtown Seventh-day Adventist church where he is a member and has voluntarily created and managed a social media strategy for the newly established Chanel-Lee Smile Foundation.

Daniel is also passionate about guiding young people with their career development particularly youth who are creatively inclined thus spearheading the OneShot project under Birmingham Leadership Foundation’s 100 Young Leaders programme. He is also very keen to tackle intergenerational issues particularly in the African Caribbean Community, thus he led a sparkling project called the Lost Links along with the UpRising Leadership Programme funded by Unltd.

Continue Readingred arrow

Graduate Profile – Charlotte Slater


Charlotte Slater

If you would like to meet Charlotte or have an informal chat about her suitability as a mentee please call us on 0845 505 1875.

“Quote Here”

Charlotte Slater joined Moo Moo Youth Marketing in 2007 and in 18 months worked her way up to being Director (aged 23). Since then she has led the company to diversify through running successful services and campaigns to engage, equip and empower young people.

Before Moo Moo, Charlotte had a varied career with often more than one job at the same time. These jobs include: retail, call centre, oversees development charity World Vision, Child Protection Trainer, Alumni caller for the University of Birmingham and working in Bedfordshire County Council conducting a needs assessment on the service provision for Adults with Asperger Syndrome.

Charlotte has also been an active volunteer from working in homeless shelters, teaching Sunday School, chairing a Community Action Society at University and volunteering her way round Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa providing service to what ever was needed, which varied from teaching to manual labour!

Learning from experiences in England and Africa and her degree in sociology, a passion for behavioural theory, perceptions and cycles of deprivation was born. Now married and expecting her first child, she is more than ever determined to be involved/run projects to break cycles of deprivation and raise aspirations in young people.

Continue Readingred arrow

Graduate Profile – Charanvir Bhamra


Charanvir Bhamra

If you would like to meet Charanvir or have an informal chat about her suitability as a mentee please call us on 0845 505 1875.

“Aim for the moon and you`ll reach the stars!”

Maintaining motivation, momentum, drive, dedication and commitment are all qualities I aim to perfect. The world is an endless pot of knowledge, not to explore is to deprive one of skills, experience, diversity and value.

From a young age I have always had an academic mind, I craved and sort out knowledge, life and experience. Growing up I took the traditional route of school, college and university. I graduated with a 2.1 in law which I was very proud of however I still felt there was yet more to achieve.

It was time to put all my skills into practice and I began volunteering at the Citzens Advice Bureau. Here I advised on many different areas such as debts, employment, immigration, family and benefits. Exploring the clients issues, reflecting, planning and following through a case was merely the tip of the iceberg. The real reward came from the gratitude the client would express from just solving their problems. I am passionate about people being treated right and not being deprived or segregated for trivial reasons. I began to confirm that this I was in my element and wanted to become an individual that can use their knowledge to help safeguard and improve people’s lives.

I wanted to become a well rounded person and acquire further skills which would aid my progression in life. This is where I took the next step into the Birmingham Leadership Foundation. From this opportunity I met likeminded people who wanted to help create a better future for the youth of today. We all felt that we saw there was a great need and it could no longer be ignored hence our group, One Shot was formed. Our aim was to help young people to present their goals, aspirations, entrepreneurial ideas in front of a panel of experts, business professionals and community leaders. From this stage we aimed to secure training, work experience or advice and guidance for the young people. This platform was created as a spring board for any young person aiming to break down any boundaries!

I am know aiming to expand my knowledge into the realm of Governance. I want to be able to develop further so that I may make decisions, influence frameworks and learn more about myself and how to help others.

Focus Dedicate, Aim, Achieve Greatness!

Continue Readingred arrow

Graduate Profile – Anthony McCourt


Anthony McCourt

If you would like to meet Anthony or have an informal chat about his suitability as a mentee please call us on 0845 505 1875.

“Quote goes here”

Anthony read law at the University of Birmingham 2004. Upon Graduation, The University of Birmingham awarded Anthony the annual prize for ‘that student who, in the opinion of the University, has made an outstanding contribution to the life of the University’.

Anthony joined Wragge & Co as a trainee solicitor and then qualified as a commercial development solicitor in 2007 acting for development clients such as Salhia Kuwaiti Sovereign fund and CBRE and Jones Lang La Salle.

Anthony decided to leave the law in late 2008 to pursue an opportunity within the commercial development industry, joining a small company developing The Cube in Birmingham City Centre. Upon that company entering administration, Anthony was asked to stay on and, then as co-Director, help lead the multi-million pound mixed-use scheme, on behalf of Lloyds Banking Group, to completion in 2010. The Cube is now home to the City’s leading brands such as Marco Piere White, Hotel Indigo, The Club and Spa, The Highways Agency etc.

In 2008, Anthony was the youngest winner ever of the Birmingham Young Professional of the Year award and is the youngest placed person in the Birmingham Post’s Power 50. Anthony is the youngest Chairman of a Career Academy in the UK chairing the City’s Enterprise Academy after founding it in 2009. In 2011, Anthony was placed in the Midlands Insiders list of ’42 under 42’ entrepreneurs to watch. In December 2011, Birmingham Metropolitan College awarded Anthony a Fellowship to the College for his services to Birmingham.

Anthony has since helped set up a commercial telephony vehicle in the Jewellery Quarter and in addition, a property specialist consultancy outfit too.

Continue Readingred arrow

Graduate Profile – Andrea Smithen


Andrea Smithen

If you would like to meet Andrea or have an informal chat about her suitability as a mentee please call us on 0845 505 1875.

She is passionate about working with young people in particular, knowing from personal experience that obtaining exposure from an early age will equip them with necessary life skills.

Andrea graduated with LLB (Hons) First Class and an LLM in Commercial Law (with Merit) from Birmingham City University and Birmingham University respectively in 2003 and 2004. She then completed the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law, Birmingham.

From 2006, Andrea trained at Cobbetts LLP, an international full service law firm. She qualified as a Solicitor into the Commercial Litigation Team in 2008. Her practice encompasses varying aspects of commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution work. She is involved in numerous contractual claims, property disputes as well as injunctive and enforcement proceedings. She has a strong specialism in professional negligence claims and is heavily involved in contentious probate cases, trust disputes and charity litigation/regulatory matters.

Andrea is greatly involved in mentoring college and university students where she assists with CV drafting, profile building and self-development. She is also an active member of her Church’s young adult’s group where organises and co-ordinates outreach programmes, social events and fundraisers.

Andrea is a founding and steering group member of Birmingham Black Lawyers, a non-profit organisation launched in April 2011 with a key aim of encouraging integration within the Birmingham legal profession and the wider community.

Continue Readingred arrow