In April, BITCI celebrated the wonderful achievement of five businesses reaching a milestone of ten years in partnership with their local school. It is a great testimony to all involved who have provided leadership and support during that time. Below are some reflections from those involved.
A: We feel very fortunate in Grange Community College to be part of the BITC programme, especially to work with a company like Mondelez. We have used the Skills @ Work and Mentoring programmes and students have benefited hugely from both. We particularly find the interview process a wonderful opportunity for students to gain confidence and communication skills which is crucial for their future success. Also “A Day in the Life” exposes students to a variety of careers available to them and is an excellent motivational tool for them to work hard at school to achieve their desired career. We look forward to continuing to enhance our student’s education and success through this programme. – Deirdre Bredin, Teacher, Grange Community College
A: The strength of the bond between Yahoo! and Ardscoil La Salle has been apparent to me from the very start, despite only being involved for the past 6 months. From the very 1st training sessions I held in Yahoo!, it was clear how passionate and enthusiastic the whole staff were about making a contribution to the education, job skills, and life chances of the students of Ardscoil La Salle. With this link now in its 10th year, Yahoo! has now made a difference to whole generation of students from Ardscoil La Salle – this is particularly gratifying for me personally as it is my old school! One of the most recent highlights of this link goes back to the Business Action on Education event we held in the RDS last May. At that event that one of the Ardscoil La Salle students from our Mentoring programme – Lauren Keegan – made a fantastic speech to a room of over 200 professionals. I think of the confidence and determination it took Lauren to make that speech in front of a packed crowd – and how brilliantly she delivered it – and I see that as a fantastic example of the life-changing impact that our education programmes can have. – Joe O’ Donnell, BITC Regional Coordinator
A: I volunteered because I know students are at a key point in their lives, thinking about college and their future careers. It can be difficult to make these important decisions when you’re young, especially if you don’t have someone to guide you. It was an opportunity utilise my own experience by giving some advice and insight that would have benefited me at that age. For example; focusing on what one might like to do whilst also being realistic about the jobs market; accepting that one may try a few different courses, or changing careers before finding the right one. Working with the students on their CVs and interviews was also a great opportunity to help build their confidence and to highlight some of the very impressive achievements that they already had. It’s safe to say that both the students and volunteers came away from the programme with a lot of good memories and new learning. – Gavin Ross, Digital Transformation Manager, Three
A: The key factors are having a clear discussion about expectations on both sides at the start of the partnership, regular communication throughout the year and taking on board the feedback from the school at the end of the year. Taking a genuine interest in the students and recognising the amazing work that teachers & schools do is fundamental to the partnership being a success. – Rachel Hyland, Learning & Development Specialist, Cornmarket Group Financial Services
A: Our partnership with St. Finian’s Community College, is one of our most valued CSR endeavours allowing us to engage with young people in our locality in a real and mutually beneficial way. The programme offers students the chance to learn about our company and prepare themselves for life after school. Our volunteers are consistently impressed and revitalised by the enthusiasm and application the students display. – Niall Leyden, Communications Coordinator, DAA