July 2020: What ELBA and our member companies have been up to

July marks the end of the academic year for students, and the past few months have meant they have experienced a school year like never before. Normally ELBA would be running celebration events for our Mentoring Works participants, as well as other exciting career insights hosted by our member companies, and while we haven’t been able to host these sessions in the same way, we’re grateful to our member companies for their creativity in supporting our young people virtually! Have a read of what volunteers and schools got up to in the last few weeks of term:

Last week saw out the 2019/20 academic year with a bang with a week of Insight Sessions on HR.  Students from various universities in east London signed in daily to learn from, and network with, HR professionals from Societe Generale (SG). All week, SG volunteers shared valuable insights into the huge variety of specialisms that exist within HR, from people and diversity, through to benefits and compensation. One student, having attended all sessions, said;

It has been inspiring to learn about different roles in HR, whilst listening to experienced professionals, as well as partaking in activities. Thank you.”

Citi is celebrating its 15th annual Global Community Day (GCD). The current environment has caused them to reimagine what GCD looks like, and this year they are focussing their efforts virtually to support our local communities the best they can, safely. ELBA’s remote volunteering opportunities have proven popular with their employees who have embraced supporting young people with employability skills in line with Citi’s Pathways to Progress programme focus. This includes running mock interviews with university students, reviewing CVs and LinkedIn profiles, as well as sharing their career stories to bring to life different roles within Citi. Just before Newham Collegiate Sixth Form ended this academic year, 13 of their students took part in an online workshop with employees from Citi’s Company Secretary team. A group of 5 colleagues across Belfast and London came together as a team to host an engaging and insightful session. They shared their different career pathways and helped the Sixth Form students develop their interviewing skills, leaving them feeling more confident in their approach to interviewing. These sessions are more important than ever to keep the students’ motivation and morale high. A huge thank you to Citi for building hope and aspiration for the next generation.

Finally, we had business volunteers from T.Rowe Price, Royal London, HSBC, Accenture and Natwest Markets supporting year 10 students at Eden Girls School on a range of virtual employability workshops. Volunteers from the HR team at T.Rowe Price led 2 informative workshops for the students, focusing on ‘How to write your first CV’.  Volunteers shared their own CVs, highlighting the need for structure, sub headings and proofreading. This set the students up for the next stage of employability skills. Business volunteers from Royal London, HSBC, Accenture and Natwest Markets carried out 70 mock interviews with students from Eden Girls. For the majority of the students, this was their first interview experience. The aim was to instil confidence in the students, while guiding them on how to answer questions effectively, using a variety of examples. The volunteers shared their own career journeys, before we split into breakout rooms for the mock interview practise. The volunteer support has been so important to ensure these workshops can continue for the students. A huge thank you to the volunteers at T.Rowe Price for the CV Workshops, and the volunteers at Royal London, HSBC, Accenture and Natwest Markets, who carried out the mock interviews.

It has been a difficult and uncertain time for young people and schools, so the ongoing input and energy from our volunteers and member companies has been more valuable than ever. ELBA’s Education team will be spending their summer considering how to ensure current students don’t become the ‘lost generation’ with regards to missing out on schooling and important insight opportunities, and will kick off their work with schools again in September. In the meantime, a huge thank you to all our incredible companies for their ongoing commitment to creating worthwhile opportunities and inspiring our future leaders!

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