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Understanding the programme and what’s involved for students?

So, how does it work?

The programme builds partnerships with secondary schools and colleges (initially in London and the South East, but with the ambition to be nationwide in the not-too-distant future) and present the programme to incoming Year 12 (Lower 6th) young women.

The proposition is that by the time these young women finish University, they will not only have attained the CISI Corporate Finance & Capital Markets qualification, they will have been on two full summer internships at different infra/energy banks/funds/institutions, and they will be able to build a financial model from scratch.

We will then place them (for free) into our client base, introducing them to our sponsor organisations who can decide which ones they want to make offers to.

Is there any obligation for the young women to stay on the programme?
No, none at all. At any point – even right at the end – they can make a completely different decision as to the direction they wish to go in. We are not here to try and bully anyone or railroad them into a career – we simply want to demonstrate to young women that a career in finance is possible and help them along the way to exploring it. If they pick up some skills and subsequently take them in a different direction, we will still regard this as a success.

What if student takes a gap year, or undertakes a 4 or 5 year degree course?
This is no problem at all.  If they choose to take a gap year then they can pick back up exactly where they left off.  If they study for longer than 3 years, they can spread the course over that time-frame however they wish – we will still support them.

Year 1 (first year of A-Levels)

The student embarks upon first module of the CISI Corporate Finance & Capital Markets qualification with support from one of our CRB-checked mentors.  Mentors are established professionals in the Infrastructure & Energy Finance and Investment market, and will give 1-2 hours per month, on the telephone, to support their assigned student through whichever aspects of the module they need help with.

They will be invited in to their mentor’s place of work for a half-day visit, in the Spring.  This will be an organized visit during which they tour the offices, understand what the organisation does and how it works, and perhaps get involved in some minor tasks where appropriate.

Year 2 (second year of A-Levels)

The student will be assigned a different mentor from a different organisation and continues to progress through modules of CISI qualification.  There will be another half-day ‘mentor visit’ in the Spring.

Year 3 (first year of degree)

The student is assigned another different mentor and continues their CISI studies – we feel that exposure to several different mentors over 5 years will be an advantage as it brings exposure to different perspectives, different mentoring styles and different organisations.

At the end of the academic year, the student undertakes a full summer internship (paid) with one of our sponsor organisations.  This does not have to be the same organisation that their Year 3 mentor works for, as the mentor’s employer may not be a sponsor – but it will be a leading bank/fund/advisor/sponsor in the Infrastructure & Energy market.

Also in Year 3, the student will begin a 3-year journey towards learning to build a financial model from scratch – supported by our partner, a leading financial modelling training organisation.

Year 4 (second year of degree)

Similar to Year 3, but incorporating more advanced CISI studies (completing the qualification) and more intensive modelling training (with the goal being to be able to build a model from scratch by the end of this year), and placement at a different organisation for the full summer internship (paid).

There is real emphasis on this year, as the final year of the degree course will be demanding for the student, so it is our intention to be less demanding of them in their final year and more demanding in years 3 and 4 of the programme.

Year 5 (final year of degree)

The student benefits from significant free advice from One Search surrounding job applications and interviews.  They will benefit from a special session with Joanna Kane, life/leadership and career coach, to help the students focus on how best to approach their entry into the world of work.

One Search coordinates and manages their applications to our sponsor organisations, but also encourages and helps them in any other applications they may make, in the wider world, finance or otherwise.

Hopefully, this concludes with job offers, from which the student must independently decide which one to accept.

On top of all this…

There will be an annual get-together for all the young women on the programme, where they can share their experiences, learn from each other and network.

At these events we will have presentations from senior figures within the industry and Joanna Kane, the well-respected career coach to some of the best and brightest in the business, will also present.

There will be a dedicated individual whose job it will be to coordinate the programme and to deal with all the logistics. This person will be on hand throughout business hours all week to answer and questions and resolve/escalate any issues.