Business students have taken their first step towards boosting their career prospects in the commercial sector with the support of industry experts.
Around a dozen Level 3 Diploma in Business students have signed up to the Business Management Career Academy at The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) this year.
The Academy, run in partnership with Career Ready, turns students into skilled, driven and highly employable young executives, with the support of mentors from businesses, including many blue chip companies.
Students not only benefit from expert advice and guidance from their mentors but also have the opportunity gain more experience on work placement, develop their skills alongside industry professionals and attend business workshops and seminars.
Many of those who have been part of the Academy in the past have gone on to gain successful employment in business or secure places at university.
The latest group of students met their mentors for the first time at the College’s Enfield Centre on 16 January, which included representatives from Lloyds Banking Group, HMRC, HM Treasury, Kaplan and BT.
Business student Vithusan Chandrasegaram, 17, said: “Being on the Career Ready programme will be an extra boost for me. I want to engage fully in any work experience opportunities so I am well prepared when I get a job.”
Another student, Aurelia Obuchowska, 16, said: “I hope to learn and gain more confidence working with and talking to business people so that they get a good impression of me, which will also help me in the long run.”
The students took part in a quiz with their mentor to break the ice and then started to complete their Career Ready log books, which help prepare them for work, job applications, setting goals, career paths and personal development.
Student mentor Mark Spriggs, from Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Going into work or any new environment can be daunting for the first time. This is a chance to share some of my 30 years’ experience at the bank and what I wanted to know when I first started getting into business.”
Career Ready is a UK-wide charity that has been linking businesses with schools and colleges to help young people gain skills for employment since 2002.
Evelyn Len, Head of Business Development and Fundraising, whose brother studied business at CONEL, said: “Career Ready doesn’t just give young people invaluable skills and experience, but also makes sure they have the attitude and behaviours employers expect, which will set them apart from others in the job market.
“Mentoring can have a real impact on a person’s life. For the student, it is not a parent or teacher telling them, but someone with real experience. That can be very powerful in helping them to succeed.”