The start of the new academic year is an exciting time for pupils, and those that support them. As part of our education programme, Deloitte Access, volunteers are helping students from all backgrounds to prepare for success. Runa Khanom-Bakshi is a consultant in our Cardiff office, and her son, Yousuf, attends one of the schools benefiting from Access. After he achieved 13 A*s in his GCSEs, Runa shares her own experience of the difference that employers can make.
A little bit of selfless time can make a huge impact on a young person’s life.
My son's school - Fitzalan High - is part of our education programme delivered in collaboration with Teach First, which aims to improve social mobility and support a fairer society by giving young people the ambition, skills and opportunities they need to access professional careers. Through the programme, Deloitte volunteers are going into partner schools to support pupils through workshops and mentoring, and it's incredible to see the impact that each volunteer can have on a young person.
I was fortunate to experience this first hand when I was invited to take part in an interview techniques workshop at Fitzalan High. Different employers spent time with individual students, helping them think of ways in working towards future goals and ambitions. It was inspiring to see students who started the day shy and making little contribution, standing on the stage in front of their peers holding presentations and displaying confidence.
Separately a Deloitte colleague Ishy Ahktar spent time mentoring a group of eight Bengali pupils, and with his support they went on and achieved really good grades - and rather than look for employment have chosen to continue studying after GCSEs.
While one of Yousuf’s friends has just joined the Deloitte BrightStart school-leaver entry scheme after finding out about the firm at a Careers’ Day held at the school.
Also, a number of A Level pupils, who have been part of Deloitte Induction and Higher Ed days, have just secured places in Russell Group universities including Durham, Imperial and Bristol.
These successes are not only fantastic for each pupil. Their results also help to inspire other pupils too. Yousuf was not alone in doing well in his GCSEs. Nearly 20 per cent of his Year 11 cohort achieved five or more A*-A grades this year.
Yousuf has opted to remain at Fitzalan High, due to the encouragement and support he received from the school and the teachers. He is now studying A Levels in Maths, Physics, Computer Science and Welsh baccalaureate with a dream of studying computer science state-side at Stanford University.
I hope I can help other pupils to fulfil their dreams too. I will continue supporting the school through Deloitte because - as the results at Fitzalan High prove - the input of employers can make a huge difference to young people’s futures.