45 students from thirteen schools across London battled for the title of ‘Brokerage Business Champion of the Year’ in a competition hosted by international law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner.
An initiative from the City-based social mobility charity The Brokerage Citylink, the schools business challenge gave ‘A’ level students from state schools in London the opportunity to showcase their analytical and communication skills together with business acumen to top City employers in a business related case study. Each team was aided along the way by a City ‘guru’ volunteer from one of the supporting companies.
The four students from the winning team have won a work experience placement with a participating City firm. Companies involved in the programme this year included Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, Royal Bank of Scotland, the Bank of England, Barnet Waddingham (actuarial) and Tindall Riley (insurance). Work experience placements were offered to three further students who made an exceptional contribution throughout the day, even if not on the winning team.
Seven students in total won work experience placements this year: Annie Abdugani, Saniya Ali, Megan Payne and Phillip Ikpa in the winning team, with Royden Higginson, Andrea Arhagba and Kevin O'Rouke chosen for their exceptional contribution.
This event addresses the need for relevant work experience for London’s students. Although City employers are increasingly responding to the need for fair access to workplace opportunities, many state school students without family connections don’t have the opportunity to develop skills in a professional environment and showcase their talents to employers.
Half of graduate employers rate candidate’s chances of receiving a job offer as ‘not very likely’ without work experience, making internships and placements all the more valuable – but competition is stiff. Opportunities like these are vital as an insight to the world of work and add a critical boost to CVs and UCAS forms. The Brokerage runs a variety of other schemes providing opportunities to complete work experience and internships.
The Brokerage’s programme manager for schools, Rosa Morgan-Baker said: “We see a wealth of young, bright and enthusiastic students who just don’t get opportunities like this to showcase their business and entrepreneurial skills. The firms involved and their staff really get to see the potential out there in London’s state schools, and see future talent, more representative of London’s diverse population, in action.”