In November, six young people from across RSN’s programmes attended a careers morning organised by Man Group, who have generously supported RSN’s mentoring programme through the Man Charitable Trust since May 2018.
Young people who have come to the UK as unaccompanied asylum seeking children often lack the networks that others their age benefit from. They don’t have family members or friends who can take them to work and introduce them to companies, and they often miss out on work experience organised through school.
As an organisation supporting young refugees and asylum seekers to access and do well in education, we’ve seen that these disadvantages don’t curb people’s desire to learn and succeed. We’ve also seen that having done well in education, their thoughts soon turn to future employment. Of the 6 young people who came to our careers day, 5 were already at university, two as scholarship students, and all were keen to plan their next step and find out what opportunities they could work towards.
Man Group plc is a global asset management firm, with 1400 employees. The morning was a fascinating insight into life at a city firm, and we heard presentations from four of Man’s employees working in diverse areas of the company - from sales, to research, to HR. They shared their personal career journeys with the group, and gave some invaluable advice about how to craft a CV, the value of undertaking an internship alongside studying, and how to find and ask for work experience. We also had some lively discussions about wider aspects of working life - including parenthood, work-life balance, and opportunities for travel.
The young people had plenty of time to ask questions and have more informal discussions about what a career in the city could really involve. They were surprised to learn that the world of finance attracts people from many different educational backgrounds, and that work experience of all kinds - not just the high-powered summer internships at large firms - is valued by their team.
The young people impressed everyone (and put the RSN team to shame!) in a discussion of how useful it is to be multilingual, with all the young people revealing that they spoke four or more languages - including English, Dari, Pashto, Urdu, Hindi, Eritrean and Tigrinya. Man Group employees speak over 50 different languages; one employee told us that at her interview, she was quizzed in all six of the languages that she had put on her CV - we have no doubt that our young people would easily pass that test!
We’d like to thank all the Man Group employees for a generous welcome - we all left feeling energised, with lots of food for thought. If you’d like to support young people to access this kind of opportunity, get in touch with us if you have some work experience to offer in your company, or consider making a donation to RSN to help us open up these opportunities to more young people.