In February, Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) with the support of Basis.point funding launched a new Alumni network for former mentors and students. The annual event was held in the Royal College of Physicians, Dublin 2 with all previous mentors and mentees invited.
The aims of establishing the Alumni are to provide a forum for Alumni mentors and mentees to meet, network and provide support; to provide a forum for former mentees to access business support and expert advice to maintain a focus on maximising their potential; to establish a lifelong connection with all mentees who have come through the programme and to provide a platform to highlight the success of the Alumni members.
Research shows that many students struggle when they leave school in the initial couple of years whether they are in college courses or working. In particular, young people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds find it hard to adjust to college life where there is not the same level of strong supports that existed within their school environment. BITCI has strongly recommended the value and potential impact for an Alumni network for participants to continue providing some support to the students after they have left school.
At the launch, there was a panel discussion chaired by Germaine Noonan, Head of Education, BITCI on the benefits of mentoring and networks. Guest speakers included Sinead Colreavy, Director, Ernst & Young and Basis.point Disbursements Committee; John Carroll, Chief Operating Officer, Investec & Mentor; Gwen Brennan, Principal, Presentation SS, Warrenmount; Eoin Speight, Managing Director, Sapinda & former Mentee Patrician College, Finglas; Karina Howley, Head of Corporate Citizenship, KPMG and Isabelle Popovici, Central Bank & former Mentee Mount Carmel SS.
The audience heard powerful testimonials from past participants, “The BITCI mentoring programme helped focus and prepare me for my future academic studies and professional career. I gained valuable knowledge and skills that have enabled me grow and progress quickly within my chosen profession”.– Eoin Speight, Managing Director, Sapinda & former Mentee Patrician College, Finglas.
John Reynolds, Board Member BITCI and Chairman, Cairn Homes gave the closing address and afterwards the crowd networked and reflected on the programme impacts over the years.
Since the launch of the Alumni BITCI has established a committee of volunteers who will lead the Alumni going forward and organize it how they see fit. BITCI want to especially thank Basis.point and Sinead Colreavy for their generous funding of the launch of the Alumni Network which will lead to a successful and much needed network for young people in Ireland in future years.