Brandon Herbert, from Knightswood Secondary School in Glasgow, is one of our 2022 Students of the Year. Here, he shares how a four-week paid internship at NatWest and the support from his mentor Gill gave him the skills and confidence to kickstart a rewarding future.

New skills and confidence

When it came to schoolwork, I used to lack self-discipline. I was often late to classes, with little motivation, and I found it difficult to plan ahead. But being part of the Career Ready programme helped me develop essential skills like timekeeping and preparation. My confidence grew and I learnt how to engage in conversation with new people. The skills I developed on the programme have been implemented into my everyday life now, and I am so happy that I took the opportunity.

Insight into the financial sector

During my time on the Career Ready programme, I completed an Internship at NatWest, where I was put into the Risk & Restructure department. I read over documents and entered data, which I found quite interesting. My favourite moment was meeting the whole team for the first time because all of them were so nice and welcoming.

My internship helped me develop my timekeeping, preparation and communication skills, along with helping me improve my concentration. Risk and Restructure is quite a theory heavy area, so I had to make sure I didn’t lose concentration whilst reading. I was already interested in going into the financial sector so it was great to get an insight in to how large companies, like NatWest, operate internally.

Support and advice from my mentor

My mentor Gill was always just a phone call away and gave me so much advice on different things. She helped me prepare for my internship, gave me advice on college and what I’ll do after that, and she helped me apply for Student of the Year, plus so much more.

‘When I first met him, Brandon was struggling with the pandemic, not attending lessons and feeling really low in terms of engagement. But over the past 2 years he has showed commitment and hard work, even through such difficult times, and matured greatly.’

Gill Cheyne, NatWest, Brandon’s mentor

Now, I have been accepted into college for Accountancy and I have a job. Overall my life seems to be falling in to place. As for my future, I’m planning to go to Uni, to carry on with Accountancy, and begin building my life. Career Ready helped achieve this and without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.

To someone thinking of joining the Career Ready programme I would say – do it, as simple as that. It’s an amazing experience. You build skills, relationships, and a sense of what the working world is like. Career Ready has helped me in so many ways, and I’m glad I took the opportunity.

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