Where did you grow-up/ go to school? What was it like?
I grew up in Croydon, Greater London and went to Haling Manor High School, now Harris Academy Purley. My high school experience was a rude awaking to inner city London as I’d spent the last two years of my primary school education in a slightly more affluent borough where I was one of only 3 black children in the school. Haling Manor was one of the biggest in the borough and was also attended by students from neighbouring boroughs, making it an epicentre for two of the main gangs in south London.
What has been the impact on you/ your life of working with Arrival Education?
I started working with Arrival Education aged 15 and have three key takeaways from my time with them. The first was that through work with Arrival Education, I was able to significantly increase my confidence in my abilities from a young age. The second was that they helped me realise that my ‘story’, my background and other people like me have a place in the corporate world and can become future decision makers. And the third was that the programme increased my awareness of social limitations and how to break through them, as well as my ability to focus on a long term picture.
With all of this I was able to make sure I distanced myself from the allure of instant gratification and a fast win. These learnings were particularly helpful throughout my teens as it instilled the self-awareness and resilience needed to steer clear of the trouble my peers were involved in.
If you hadn’t worked with Arrival Education, what do you think the difference would be?
I was easily impressionable but always strived for a successful and better off future. That said, Arrival Education gave me the ability and maturity to consider the bigger picture and the decisions required to get there. This also enabled me to steer away from criminal activities my close friends were involved in.
My experience with Arrival Education gave me the confidence in myself to know that through my intellect I could change my future. By partnering me with a mentor who had worked in one of the big banks, I was encouraged as although he had a different upbringing to myself, his academic achievements were not dissimilar to mine. This gave me the belief that I can go on to achieve similar goals to his through things I could control i.e. my education.
Looking back, what was it about working with Arrival Education that most helped you?
Having elder professionals tell me that they believed I could have a successful future: a message that I hadn’t heard before. Arrival Education constantly reinforced the rhetoric that people like myself belonged and brought value to the businesses they were partnered with. The latter really had a big impact on me and my choice of career as it instilled confidence in my own ability, making the career options available in corporate UK feel attainable.
What are you doing now? What are your hopes for your future?
I currently work as an Assistant Accountant at a Financial Consultancy, working towards my CIMA chartership.
My future goals are to Qualify CIMA and gain strategic experience guiding my career towards becoming a Chief Financial Officer.
What would you say about Arrival Education, to someone who had never heard of us?
Arrival Education are a group of talented, young, bright, enthusiastic and resilient people that can bring about real change in an organisation. Arrival Education offers students a gateway into corporate UK and their programmes equip you with the mindset and skillsets needed to keep your future at the forefront of your decision making.
Would you like to learn more about how Arrival Education works with young people and businesses?
If you are a company who want to learn more about how Arrival Education can help you unlock the power of difference, please get in touch using the form below. If you are a young person and would like to join the Arrival Network to receive opportunities, please contact us here.