A group of students from Ballymun Youthreach have recently completed a fantastic five-week mentoring programme with employees from the Dublin office of the prestigious private investment bank, Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH). Spearheaded by senior executives, Cathal Boylan and Noeleen Flynn, a variety of staff from all areas of the firm, gave up their time to mentor and work with the Youthreach students over a period of five weeks. The workshops were held in the offices of BBH in Dublin City Centre, as well as on site in Ballymun Youthreach.  

The first workshop consisted of an introduction to Brown Brothers Harriman and the students learned about the services they provide, as well as a general overview of the financial services industry. There was a fantastic panel discussion where BBH employees spoke about their varied career backgrounds and how everyone can take different routes to get where they are.  

The second workshop focused on how to develop a good CV and how to prepare for a job interview. The students received hands on guidance on crafting an effective resume and how to tailor it to different job opportunities. The BBH mentors conducted mock interviews and provided constructive feedback to help students improve their interview skills and build confidence in articulating their qualifications and experiences.  

The third session delved deeper into exploring different career paths. BBH mentors shared their career journeys, highlighting the importance of transferable skills, and continuous learning. The fourth workshop saw the BBH mentors work with the students on developing effective communications and presentation techniques. They learned how to structure and deliver compelling presentations, focusing on confidence, clarity, engagement and professionalism. The students were then broken up into small groups with an assigned mentor to prepare a business idea or social enterprise. The mentors put a strong emphasis on fostering creativity and innovation with their respective groups.  They would work on their idea and present it in a Dragon’s Den style pitch on the last day. 

The fifth and final workshop saw the students showcase their business ideas to a panel of BBH staff, which included Global Partner and Chairman of BBH Ireland & Luxembourg, Jean Marc Crépin. The judges evaluated the presentations based on creativity, feasibility and presentation skills. They were very impressed with the students’ ideas and provided great constructive feedback to everyone as well as selecting an overall winning team. The session finished with a celebration of the whole mentoring programme.  

The Mentoring programme was a great success, and the students learned a huge amount from the experience. Youthreach is very grateful to the team at Brown Brothers Harriman for organizing the collaboration and for giving up their time and expertise to help the students hone and develop their skills.  

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