Student Mentoring Programme Graduation Celebration

BITCI News - Mar 14, 2024

14th March 2024 Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) is celebrating another successful year of its Student Mentoring Programme which had its largest number of students participating ever. This academic year had 35 programmes involving 32 companies across Ireland mentoring in 32 schools which saw 254 senior cycle DEIS students and 240 mentors actively participating.  

The graduation hybrid event took place in KPMG offices, one of the companies heavily involved in the programme. It was attended by a mix of mentors, students, teachers, school principals, funders and officials from the Department of Education.  

Andrea Lazenby Simpson, BITCI Head of Education said “This event is a highlight in our calendar as it is so important to recognise the commitment of mentors and the achievements of the students. It was great to run this programme back in-person this year as it is far easier to build relationships between the mentors and students than having virtual sessions. This programme has consistently reaped dividends for both students and the companies involved and it is heartening to see the programme expand further.” 

Mentoring is an impactful programme that gives students a chance to connect and communicate on an adult level with professionals in the working world, helping to improve confidence, communication, and social skills as well as receiving guidance on CV, interview technique and career-focussed topics. 

 Michal Wardas, Sandbox said “I went to school in the Summerhill area so I volunteered for this programme to allow me to re-engage with schools directly in that locality. It is an opportunity for me to share the life experiences and lessons I’ve learnt with my mentee to hopefully encourage and steer them in their future career paths. For the company it gives them direct engagement with the local schools and community as opposed to other charitable initiatives or fundraising activities.”   

 David Redmond, previous graduate of the Student Mentoring Programme expressed “For me, I found mentoring gave me different perspectives that I hadn’t thought of before. Despite always knowing I wanted to work in media and broadcasting, being involved in the Student Mentoring Programme with Citco throughout my senior cycle, which wasn’t a media company, taught me that media is far more than just radio and television. I realised there are a huge variety of roles in every field. I’m now working in media, but in a very non-conventional way. I am a digital content producer and a marketing assistant. I think the Mentoring programme can benefit students irrespective of what they want to do as they meet such a diverse group of professionals and can utilise these experiences to help their own career journey.” 

Donal O’Buachalla, principal of Gaelcholasite Mhuire A.G. Cork, said ““Our 5th & 6th year pupils have benefited greatly from being involved in the Student Mentoring Programme with KPMG over the last six years. It provides a safe and engaging space for them to discuss their career choices, receive practical real advice from mentors and learn how different courses and paths can be taken to succeed.”   

The Student Mentoring programme is an initiative run by Business in the Community Ireland, kindly supported and funded by basis.point, Dept of Education and TUSLA.  Over 3,000 students and 2,800 mentors have participated to date.