In 2017 I was introduced to Lisa Quinn and was struck by her unwavering belief that every young person has the right to access the career opportunities and networks in life that will enable them to succeed. This had me completely bought into the incredible work they have been doing for so many years.
Lisa is a Director of Business Education Events Ltd (BEE), who do great work bringing employers and students together via dynamic, fun, and focused events that help schools meet the Gatsby benchmarks for effective careers provision.
A few weeks after our introduction, I had the privilege of organising a team volunteer day with Lisa at John Chilton Special Needs School. This gave my team and I the opportunity to share our technical and creative skills in different classes with some very talented young people. It was an extremely humbling experience that had a huge impact on us all.
Roll on to 2021 and the world has changed immeasurably; the pandemic has impacted everyone and the need to support each other is more important than ever.
With school closures and students facing unprecedented challenges in the next steps of their lives, BEE and Thomas Becket Catholic School were able to review new ways of working and find opportunities to engage sixth form students with ‘real-world’ experience. Adapting to use the new norms of video conferencing calls, it was with great pleasure that I volunteered to support with an interview preparation skills event alongside Zoe Lewis, Director of Talent Acquisition and Head of Social Value for Methods.
The aims of the event included:
- students recognising, developing and applying employability skills by creating appropriate paperwork (cover letter & CV)
- simulation of an authentic interview experience
- practise in giving and receiving constructive feedback
- building students’ confidence and self-esteem.
Having had a preparation call with BEE and Thomas Becket School, we were able to offer a unique approach to an interview experience with several students over Zoom. For the majority of the students, this was their first ever interview, and this platform really provided the opportunity for them to shine as well as gain experiences from the world of working professionals.
After shedding the initial nerves (both students and volunteers), we shared a few hours achieving the aims of the event for the students and also provided a valuable and enriching experience for the volunteers.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering what I am hoping your takeaway from this will be. Well hopefully it’s simple! During this global pandemic, many of us have had to change and adapt our way of life in various ways. We’ve seen inspirational stories along the way including the unforgettable Captain Sir Tom Moore. There are also many silent heroes that are doing incredible work across the world and in a time of giving back, I hope that we can all find a way, no matter how small it may seem, to give back to those that it will mean so much to. I guarantee that you will get more out of it than you think!
If you’d like to be involved in a similar experience, Lisa at BEE is always looking for volunteers, so head over to businesseducationevents.com to get in touch.