This month we welcomed the newest member of the Brokerage team - Bridget Gardiner joined us as Executive Director from the Epilepsy Society.
In this blog post, she tells us about her exciting first week and her initial impressions of our work.
I now know what a depository receipt is! And the world of insurance is far more interesting than I ever realised. My first week as executive director at The Brokerage Citylink was inspirational.
This is a charity which punches above its weight. The small staff team work long hours and are passionate about helping young, disadvantaged Londoners improve their chances of securing real opportunities and jobs in the City and Canary Wharf.
We are connecting bright young Londoners to City corporates, providing career opportunities on the one hand and a fantastic talent pool on the other.
I attended a number of City Careers Programme “masterclasses” with some of our undergraduate students before they go back to uni. Some of these sessions were led by alumni of The Brokerage – people in their second or third jobs who took part in our programmes a few years ago and are now giving something back.
Try different things, decide what makes you tick, be flexible and grab every opportunity for enhancing your CV that comes along. Secure internships if you really want to work in professional or financial services. These were the key messages from the sessions.
Other masterclasses were held at corporate offices, including Lloyd’s, Marsh, BNY Mellon and RBS. These and many other corporates provide placements, apprenticeships, internships and graduate entry jobs for our students. Investment banking and the trading floor might be the Holy Grail for a few Brokerage students each year, but it became clear to our undergraduates that there are hundreds of other exciting and rewarding jobs in professional and financial services, which offer good salaries and prospects and enable a positive work/life balance as well.
The highlight of my week was a workshop for around 25 male year 13 students from inner London boroughs, supported by an equal number of Brokerage alumni who volunteered to help with preparing a stand-out CV. By the end of the session I think the students all realised that there is more to a CV than educational attainment, and that it is crucial to make a good first impression, as the average employer will spend a maximum of 20 seconds looking at each CV.
Over the next few weeks I am looking forward to seeing other aspects of our “pathway” of opportunities, ranging from sessions with 10 year olds in primary schools to sixth form workshops. I am also keen to meet as many of our 400 alumni as possible, and hear from them what a difference support from The Brokerage made to their lives.
Am I pleased I took the job? Absolutely! Are we making a difference? There is no doubt in my mind. My priorities are to heighten the profile of the charity and raise income from new sources to underpin our existing programmes as well as provide more support and services in the future. And I think it’s a very bright future at The Brokerage Citylink. I’d love to hear from anyone interested in our work – just call me on 020 7628 9904 or email [email protected]
The Brokerage Citylink