Marley Ahmed is 21 years old and a final year business and management student at the University of Sussex, from south-east London. A former student on the Career Ready programme, he is passionate about improving the life chances of young people and likes to play sports.
My internship at Citi in the summer of 2017 changed my outlook on life and my capabilities. It really was a defining moment in my life.
Living in Woolwich, south London, I’d grown up seeing the tall, glass buildings of Canary Wharf on the horizon. But my summer internship made me realise that working in a place like this was possible for me and others who grew up in my area. It was just a case of being given the right opportunities and support.
Since then, I’ve gone to the University of Sussex to study business and management, where I had the opportunity to do a placement year in Singapore as well work in an additional internship in the Civil Service. Without the Career Ready programme, I don’t know if I would have achieved all of this.
We each have different starts to life, whether that’s positive or negative, which all too often influence our futures. I believe that we should each be empowered to experience and achieve everything we’re capable of. We can do this by creating equitable and equal opportunities for young people.
My time at Citi was a life-changing opportunity for me, and I want to ensure that more young people get the same experience. That’s why I wanted to join the Career Ready Youth Board.
The challenges facing young people are not new, but they are getting harder, especially because the pandemic meant that studying was put on hold and work experience programmes were cancelled.
Students finishing their A-Levels and university, despite being highly educated, find it hard to get jobs. Trapped in the frustration of ‘needing experience to get work experience’. And when we do find entry-level jobs, we still end up paying the price. The cost of living, transport, food, everything is rising but pay and disposable income.
By joining the Career Ready Youth Board I hope to play a part in influencing this for the better. Working with the other board members and businesses to create more opportunities and a better environment for young people in the world of work.
Find out more about the Career Ready Youth Board