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  • Jo Selman-Smith

What Mentoring Means- Issue #1 Will Rook

What mentoring means Issue #1

Welcome to our new web series, ‘What mentoring means’, dedicated to showcasing some of the amazing and fruitful partnerships we have facilitated here at Shadow To Shine.

Mentoring is one of the most rewarding ways you can enrich someone’s life. All it takes is some time and commitment to pass on your knowledge and share your experiences. Many people take having a positive, professional role model in their everyday lives for granted, but in truth, this is a luxury not everyone has access to.

As you’re likely aware, Shadow To Shine is committed to connecting mentors with those who need them most. If you’re interested in learning the positive influence mentoring a young person can entail, have a read of Will’s story below.


Will is one of Shadow To Shine’s longest-standing graduate mentees and we have followed his journey with immense pride. After finishing university in 2018 and whilst working at the retailer Schuh, Will came to Shadow To Shine with ambitions to launch his own clothing line, having already built his brand from the ground up and publishing content regularly on YouTube. He heard about Shadow To Shine through a friend and was enticed by the opportunities it could open up for him to grow and learn. Whilst he had all the tools and the drive to go far, he was missing that crucial industry connection that could help to propel his career forward and find him opportunities for work.

After completing Shadow To Shine’s 4-week Employability & Personal Development Programme at the beginning of the year, Will attended the graduation ceremony which included a networking session with our high-profile industry network. Here, using some of the skills the programme had equipped him with, Will took the initiative to go and introduce himself to Alec Maxwell, Founder and Creative Director of Kloss Films. Alec was quicky able to see the potential Will offered and scheduled a meeting for the following week. The two also connected on Instagram, where Will had already been showcasing his brand.

Alec was assigned as Will’s professional mentor and the two have been working together ever since. The partnership has taught Will some of the most crucial demands of the job: multi-tasking, time-management and meeting deadlines, as well as some of the everyday disciplines that are just as important but often overlooked – in this case it was waking up early every morning! Additionally, Will has come to see the importance and the benefits of building and maintaining relationships and the way in which it is essential to his own career goals.

Currently Will is working on Kloss’s brand identity, helping to reinvent the brand in a new creative realm which includes merchandise, exhibitions and community engagement. Alongside this, he is continuing to build his clothing line SAVIOUR, as well as freelancing for other organisations from time to time. Will hopes to continue to grow the brand and one day would love to give back the type of opportunity that has been presented to him through his mentorship. The dream would be to continue the cycle and open up a path for growth for another young person in the same way that he has enjoyed.

Follow Will’s clothing line on Instagram and YouTube @SAVIOUR.7 & SAVIOUR

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