BNP Paribas’ Anastasia Toumpektsi and Daniel Ivanov talk about their experience of working with S6 students at St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary in Glasgow, who are taking part in the Investment Challenge.
“When we were made aware of this year’s Investment Challenge Volunteering Opportunity and were encouraged by our line managers to participate we thought that it would be a great experience, especially because we did not have such an opportunity when we were at school which was not that long ago!
“Not having done this before, we did not know what to expect. The material we would present to the students was interesting. Before the visit we kept thinking ‘What would we want to hear from professionals if we were in their shoes?’ and we believe this is what led to a great school visit and experience for us all. The teacher and the 10 S6 students were as excited as we were. They were at a stage where they felt they needed to make some important decisions that could possibly help shape their lives in the future.
“We identified with their current situation, we shared things we would have liked to hear if we were in their place, we mentioned how everyone can have equal opportunities, how important an inclusive and diverse workplace is; we told them that decisions do not always have to be set in stone, everyone is allowed to change their mind and go after their dreams at any stage of their lives; we shared our personal experiences on our transition from academia to the corporate world and our current roles in the bank with honesty and optimism about the future of this industry.
“We believe that opportunities like the mentoring is something that can be beneficial for both the students and BNPP colleagues. That extra bit of support and guidance can make a huge difference.
“We felt so proud for our workplace, and could see a bit more determination on the students’ faces by the time we left! It felt good to be part of something bigger. If we have managed to inspire at least one of them (if not all of them) that would be a great pleasure for us and a day well spent! Brilliant initiative! We would definitely do it again!”