Our Impactees were out in force earlier in the week working with our charity partner Inspire, in the support of young people in the community. Our focus was to engage, inspire and motivate students in getting them ready for the working world!
We walked up to the gates of BSix Sixth Form College in Hackney, reminiscing about our school days whilst watching the students wearily pile in for a 9am start. Equipped with lanyards in hand, we were warmly welcomed byInspire!who told us more about the college, the students and what we could expect for the day ahead. Now split into groups, we started to plan our programmes and activities, eager to make this a memorable, inspiring and beneficial day for all involved. Little did we know, it would be more rewarding than we initially imagined.
Confronted with 17 puzzled yet willing faces staring at me, I stood at the front of the classroom clutching a list of my first 3 jobs, and thinking of clues to make them guess what the job is. The catch? The majority of the class had a very low level of English. It soon dawned on me, this task wasn’t just about introducing the idea of different career paths, but how to simplify a job title, and explain clearly what the skills and attributes are to that job. It made me realise, there are so many endless opportunities and roles in the world, how can you make an informed decision about what you want to do, if you don’t know what’s out there?
To make the class interactive, we then introduced the game of ‘Networking Bingo’. This encouraged the students to get out of their chairs, talk to other students, practicing their English whilst learning how to ask questions in a more professional but conversational style. This exercise was important for them to build up their confidence and prove to themselves that they can approach other people and not be afraid of initiating a conversation, knowing what questions to ask and how to phrase them.
We looked at what a CV is and how to build one from scratch. Of course, how would you know if you hadn’t ever been taught? Hands were flung into the air, bursting to tell me what they think should be included and go next in the structure. Their enthusiasm was purely infectious. It was incredibly satisfying to watch the students faces light up as they slowly realised how many skills they actually had, gaining self-assurance as they listed their interests and what transferable skills they learnt from those hobbies. Understanding that even just by playing football, you’re learning teamwork, leadership and how to build a strategy to win! We also looked at interview skills and collectively created lists of whatisacceptable in an interview and what is not, striking interesting debate in some instances.
For the final activity, we gave the students a chance to ask each other as well as have a go at answering some competency-based interview questions. Teaching the class to list their strengths, turning their weaknesses into positives and showing them how to talk about their skills drawing from previous experience and examples. Watching them actively use their newly learned vocabulary, asking their teacher when they’re allowed to go on the computer to type up their CV’s filled me with so much joy.
Impact’s ongoing partnership with Inspire is incredibly rewarding for all concerned and it really wasn’t just the students who took something away that day…