Mentors and mentees meet as the Aspire programme launches at State Street
15 Nov 17

Stepping into the world of work can feel more than a little daunting; having your own personal guide to help you navigate the challenges and choices can make a huge difference.

That’s what’s on offer to ten Year 12 students from Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College, Lewisham, as they embark on The Brokerage’s brand new Aspire programme, funded by global financial services provider, State Street Corporation. 

Held at the company’s astounding offices in Canary Wharf, the programme’s launch took place on Wednesday 25th October.

Aspire mentor and mentee meet

With a view to helping young people build their confidence and aim high, Aspire matches the young participants with a mentor who will help them hone their professional skills.

In the coming months, the pairs will work through a structured programme, covering everything from CV writing and interview practice, to networking within a large business and sharpening presentation skills. The programme will culminate in a ‘TED Talk’ style presentation, delivered by the mentees.

Aspire mentor and mentee meeting

At the launch event, mentors and mentees were brought together for the first time, and got to know each other a little better over tea and cakes.

Jada Shaw, who is 16 and studying A-Levels in maths, economics and sociology, recognises the opportunities the programme presents. “I’m really aware that this is something not everyone my age gets to do. I’ve grown up seeing the buildings of Canary Wharf out of my window but it’s always seemed like a totally separate world. I’m interested to find out what goes on inside.”

Aspire mentor and mentee meeting

Her thoughts are echoed by fellow student Joseph Sturgis, who is 16 and studying A-Levels in English, geography and drama. “I’m really conscious that when it comes to my CV this is something that will really make me stand out”.

The mentors, who work in a variety of sectors across the business, expressed their excitement about the opportunity they have to work with the students.

Young people can definitely bring a fresh perspective to our business and hopefully it will be a great opportunity for us to give something back”, reflected Nick England, from State Street’s Reconciliation Oversight Team.

Aspire mentor and mentee meeting event

Theophilus Shenbanjo, careers officer at Haberdashers' Aske’s Hatcham College, can see the potential State Street has to inspire the students he works with.

He explains, “A few months ago, a visitor from State Street spoke at one of our assemblies. He really opened the students’ eyes to how a big organisation like State Street offers career opportunities not just in financial roles but lots of other areas, too. Some of the students on the mentoring programme wouldn’t previously have considered a role in finance.”

We’ll be following the stories of the students and their mentees on our website over the next few months, so watch this space!

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