Soho House Mentorship: Where are our mentees now?
As the programme celebrates four years of opening doors for a new generation of creatives, our global mentees reflect on their journey so far…
Sunday 18 September 2022 By Anastasiia Fedorova
It’s no secret that working in the creative industries is equal parts frustrating and rewarding. Whether you’re an artist, a designer, a musician or an actor, you’ll be just as familiar with tiresome all-nighters and tight deadlines as you will with the beauty of collaboration, bringing ideas to life – and, of course, decompressing at your local Soho House or Soho Works. Among the most special relationships every creative has is that with the person who first saw their potential, the mentor who set them on a rising trajectory.
Meeting the right mentor is instrumental not only for confidence and growth, but also for making the industry more welcoming and inclusive. The key mission of Soho Mentorship is to open doors for creatives from underrepresented and lower socioeconomic backgrounds by matching them with an established figure in their field who can offer them the support and guidance tailored to their wants and needs.
Soho Mentorship was set up in 2018 as a 16-week programme that connected Soho House members with young people in their city. Speaking of its launch, Soho House Founder and CEO Nick Jones said: ‘It’s clear to me that where we can make a real difference is by using the knowledge and network we’ve built over 27 years to open doors in the creative industries for people who are otherwise shut out.’
Today – four years after its inception – the programme runs in 15 cities and has more than 700 mentees globally, with the latest additions being in Copenhagen (our first Nordic Soho House in Denmark’s capital), Brighton, Nashville, Austin, and Miami. It runs in partnership with Creative Mentor Network in the UK, Creative Futures Collective in North America, OWN Academy in Asia and Routes In in Europe, where we’re especially keen to find new mentors for our growing community in Scandinavia.
So, to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Soho Mentorship and the creatives that have been a part of it, we asked some of the programme’s participants how it has changed their lives and careers so far…
Angel-Rose Oedit Doebé, visual artist
Mentee, Soho House Amsterdam
‘I got matched with the perfect mentor, Nienke van der Wal, a coaching, consulting and strategy expert in the art industry. Nothing was too weird to ask; I could text her with any question any time. Besides the great advice, she was also really kind to me and we developed a personal connection. A mentor is doing this all in their free time, and I didn’t take her help for granted. The mentorship programme helped me become more confident about my artistry and opened my perspective on seeing my art as a business.’
Andre Jones, talent agent for WME
Mentee, Soho Warehouse Downtown LA
‘I’m a first-generation college graduate who’s passionate about developing the careers of unrepresented talent specifically from the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities. I identify as a Black and Mexican gay man, which is why I have such a connection to working with folks from my own community and ensuring they have people that look like them behind closed doors in the deal-making process. Knowing about the amazing community of creatives that Soho House brought together, I knew it was a place I could thrive in.’
Ibiye Anga, art director and founder of Anga Haus
Mentee, Soho House Austin
‘Soho Mentorship was a great opportunity to experience a creative side of myself while meeting other creative beings. There’s so much joy and genius that comes with collaborating within my community at Soho House – I still operate with an immense amount of gratitude to my mentors and mentees alike because “it really takes a village”. The most important takeaway from the experience was simply the understanding and importance of showing up as yourself.’
Tems, DJ and cofounder of Inside Ldn
Mentee, Shoreditch House
‘At Inside Ldn, we plan events for creatives and working professionals internationally. I also work as a petroleum geoscientist. On the creative side, I’ve performed at concerts, weddings and corporate events notably for the Google Black Founders launch and Footasylum’s Easter campaign. I joined Soho Mentorship to learn from experienced creatives and professionals, grow my skill set as a DJ, and expand my network. The programme taught me so much, from marketing and career planning to learning about the inner workings of global entertainment companies like Live Nation. My biggest take-away was to always network and keep an open mind, as you never know where opportunities may come from.’
‘I am studying at Rietveld Academy and doing fashion for my project, which is called KAUSEFFEKT, learning electronic music production and working for a local clothing brand as a stylist and studio manager. I joined the Soho Mentorship programme because I wanted to expand my network in a new city. It taught me how to reach out for advice from experts in the field I’m interested in, while still following my unique path. The biggest positive take-away from the programme was that no matter how different we as people can be, there is always something to learn from each other, and a space for a good friendship and companionship.’
Daksha Sanjay Chandra, digital marketer
Mentee, Soho House Hong Kong
‘My area of talent is in photography, media and music, but I’d like to specialise in digital marketing in advertising. My mentor has been really supportive during the process. He has guided me on how to dig deeper with my research and think outside of the box. He has given me constructive criticism, which I feel has helped me evolve as a person who wants to be independent in starting her own branding company. The support of Soho House has been so incredible. I’m very blessed that I could go there and feel comfortable with being around other creative people and feel inspired.’
Sherrae Rucker, digital artist and visual storyteller
Mentee, Soho House Chicago
‘My mediums of choice are photography and video. I’m currently a creative strategist and content creator for Live Nation. I really wanted to push myself as an artist with the guidance of someone who has more experience under their belt and could offer an outside perspective. The programme taught me how to tackle a large creative project in a methodical way, to alleviate stress, which allowed room for more creativity and experimentation. Planning out the details kept me in alignment and made communicating my ideas to the crew easier.’
Happy to share your knowledge and network? Become a mentor here.
Soho Mentorship is part of Soho House’s creative access programmes. As stated in our ESG report, by 2030 our goal is for 5% of our annual Soho House membership intake to be part of one of our creative access programmes. You can read more about all of our ESG goals and the progress we’re making towards them in our 2021 ESG report.