Business students taking part in the Career Ready programme were introduced to their mentors from the world of business and finance this week during an icebreaking event at the College’s Orpington Campus.

The students, currently on the first year of their Business BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma course, attended the event and took part in speed networking exercises before being formerly introduced to their own personal mentors from a range of top UK firms. Representatives from RBS, Santander, Telereal Trillium, Tokio Marine HCC, Bank of Cyrpus, JP Morgan, BP, Ofgem, ING, Aviva, FleishmanHillard Fishburn, London Business School, ENGIE and Citi are on-hand this year to help guide our students, give insight into their working life and offer direct support for their mentee’s coursework and progression to higher study or into work.

London South East Colleges has been running the Career Ready programme for four years now. It has been a huge success and produced some great results for our students.

Caroline Kandaya is the Career Ready Lead Regional Manager for London and the South East and attended the event. She said: “Mentees and mentors are very carefully chosen using a set of criteria to match a student’s career ambitions, their strengths and weaknesses and the mentor’s line of business and expertise. This icebreaker is intended for the two to meet each other, plan the way ahead and develop a professional relationship. It is the student who will have the ultimate responsibility to maintain that relationship for a twelve-month period and beyond.”

Julia will soon be jetting off to the USA to study business at the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma after winning a scholarship for her rowing abilities. She would like to qualify and work as a business analyst. Julia has already undergone a programme of mentoring with William Brindley of Santander Bank. William said: “Over the past year, Julia and I have discussed her strengths and weaknesses and assessed how to prepare and progress successfully into university and beyond. I have put her in touch with some useful contacts and agencies who can help and assist her in pursuit of her career ambitions. I’m very pleased to say that the programme has been a huge success and she has taken every opportunity offered to her.”

Jerushan would like to work in banking and finance. He was paired with retired Managing Director, Rory Hussey from ING Bank. Jerushan said: “I’m delighted with my chosen mentor. Rory will be able to provide so much knowledge and great advice. This is going to be a very interesting and exciting journey.”

Rory said: “My aim is to give Jerushan as much information and guidance as I can in order to turn him into a financial genius. The more scope and wisdom I can pass on, the more chance he has to broaden his horizons and make a success of his future career. We’ll both be working very hard to make that happen.”

Sian Hogarty is HR Manager at one of the UK’s leading communication companies - FleishmanHillard Fishburn. She is new to the role of mentor and this year will be working with her first student. She says: “When I began my career, I didn’t get the opportunity to be assigned a personal mentor. I know it would have been very useful at the time and life would have been far easier. That is why I want to get involved with the Career Ready programme and offer someone lots of good advice on a broad range of issues regarding human resources and talent management. I can pass on my knowledge of what employers are looking for when they recruit and on best practice and pitfalls to look out for when applying for jobs.”

If you think you have what it takes to be successful in the world of business and finance we’d like to hear from you. We have a great range of courses for you to choose from. Come along to an open event. Click here to learn more.

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