On Wednesday 5th December ten year 8 and 9 girls from Baylis Court School travelled into London to take part in their World of Work day at St. James’s Place, Wealth Management in Canary Wharf.
The girls were met at school by their Yes Futures Coaches Anne, Brett and Hannah, where they were given the objectives for the day. Although some were a little apprehensive about heading into London for the first time they were all excited for the days events. After hopping into two taxis to the train station we met Jo, our final yes futures coach, and swiftly jumped onto our train to London. After arriving in London Paddington, the girls were given the task of ensuring we got onto the correct tube to get ourselves across London to Canary Wharf. For some, this was the first time they had been on a tube and so after a quick lesson in how to read a tube map the girls were confidently leading the way.
Upon arrival at St. James’s Place in Canary Wharf, we were met by our host Robyn before being escorted to the boardroom on the 4th floor, where we were greeted by the smiling faces of Sophie, Teressa and Megan, three of SJP’s employees.
We began the day with a quiz activity to gain some understanding of St. James’s Place, Wealth Management and the general financial industry. Following this, we had the opportunity to hear from Sophie, Teressa, and Robyn about their journeys into the world of work. All three women had had a very different routes into SJP, involving internships, apprenticeships, and graduate programmes.
Sophie explained to the girls that she had entered into the organisation through a summer internship followed by an apprenticeship and now works in the HR department.
Teressa followed suit and explained that she had firstly completed a bachelor’s degree and now is currently on a graduate programme in which she works on a 6 monthly rotation in different departments, whilst simultaneously working towards a master’s degree.
Lastly, we heard from Robyn, our host, and her journey from when she left school, to working in a range of different roles and organisations and has progressively worked her way up to becoming the Partnership Development Manager of St. James’s Place. This was very insightful, and the girls had many questions, some of which included, what specific GSCE’s do you need to work at SJP? What is the difference between an apprenticeship and a graduate scheme? And how much holiday do you get?!
We then had a quick break for lunch, followed by the girls having the opportunity to do some Speed Networking. The girls in smaller groups had the opportunity to ask questions to four more of St. James Place’s employees. This time it involved 3 of SJP’s financial advisers and Robyn’s PA Megan. This gave the girls the chance to ask some further questions such as, what made you decide this is what you wanted to do? What job did you have before this one? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Robyn then kindly took us on a tour of the office where the girls learnt more about the different departments within the company.
We spent the final 20 minutes looking at some of the qualities you might need to work at St. James Place which ignited some differences in opinion. This was then followed by a small debate regarding which qualities they felt were important/not important.
The girls had a fabulous day and came away feeling inspired about the prospect of having a career in the future.
A huge thank you from Yes Futures to Robyn and the St. James’s Place team for hosting such an insightful and enjoyable day!