Conor Cassidy from St David’s RC High School, Midlothian, joined the Career Ready programme in 2018. He enjoyed a 4 week paid internship at Blackrock where his mentor, Helen Brodison, was also based. Here, he explains how the Career Ready programme helped him develop the skills, confidence and experience needed to kick-start a rewarding and successful future.

From the masterclasses, I learnt about the importance of good communication and networking. This highlighted the importance of keeping in contact with people you meet and widening your professional network, which came in very useful during my internship.

My favourite part of the internship was presenting a stock pitch. I researched a chosen organisation and briefed senior financial investors of my findings and the potential of the business through a presentation. This, alongside another presentation on Artificial Intelligence, was a massive confidence boost. These kinds of tasks allowed me to develop and demonstrate a myriad of workplace skills from organisation to problem-solving. I enjoyed the whole internship experience and it was invaluable in helping me decide upon a career path.

Spending time with my mentor, Helen, has been one of the most influential parts of the Career Ready programme, she set up meetings with other colleges and made sure I got to experience as many different parts of BlackRock as possible and got a greater understanding of how the company worked. I’d like to thank my mentor for being so welcoming and making such I an effort to ensure that the whole Career Ready experience was as rewarding as possible.

Before the Career Ready programme, I was confused and undecided about my future. My mentor Helen gave me the best piece of advice; make sure that if you decided to go onto further education, study something you enjoy. Due to the Career Ready experience, I have a better understanding of what’s right for me, and that is working in the financial sector. In the future, I want to go on to study a joint degree of mathematics and economics.

Learn more about how we help young people kickstart rewarding futures or get involved and make a lasting difference.