We look at the aims of our social mobility programme Berenberg Journey and hear from students and mentors about the impact to date.
What is Berenberg Journey?
Berenberg Journey is a targeted social mobility programme to up-skill disadvantaged young people and help them unlock their potential. The aim isn't to find them a role in the Bank but give them guidance and an insight into an unfamiliar environment. However, if we attract more diverse talent to our business as a result, we see that as an added benefit.
It is a 10-month programme where we offer one-to-one mentoring, develop their workplace skills and give career insights. It involves regular workshops to help equip students with skills to support their progression from school to work or university and beyond. As part of this process, Berenberg’s people receive training and support to be an effective mentor and gain unique opportunities to make an impact on social mobility.
Why we established Berenberg Journey
Social responsibility has a long tradition in our company. We established Berenberg Journey as we believe we have an opportunity to drive positive change by mentoring and creating pathways for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. By helping them improve their career prospects we can make our own contribution to improving social mobility.
As a business we enjoy a major presence in London. But London is a city with some major challenges when it comes to social mobility. Young people from poorer backgrounds are less likely to do well in school and thus see their career prospects limited. We want to change this. By offering our support as mentors, we know we can make a difference to their lives while, at the same time, offering our own people the opportunity to be involved in a highly rewarding initiative.
The impact to date…
Berenberg Journey is about opportunity, personal development and change. Not just for those we mentor on the programme, but also for our people who work closely with their mentees. We believe their feedback is the best indicator of the progress being made. Here are some comments from students, schools and mentors:
“The mentoring has been very beneficial towards my future; it helped me develop core skills that I will need for every aspect of my future.” Ewan, Student
“I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but I wanted to learn more real-life skills and how to deal with future situations. I’ve learned what makes you stand out from others and how to deal with stressful situations and challenges in a more positive way.” Stevie-Jane, Student
“The students have expressed positive feedback throughout, especially Khalid who has really shone and developed through the programme and working with his mentor. Thank you and the team for the amazing opportunity and difference you are making in the lives of our students.” High School in London
“I’m so proud of what my mentee has achieved. Personally, I feel I have learned too. I feel better armed to communicate with someone that is becoming an adult without being patronising. I feel I know where the balance is between helping someone and actually doing it for them!” David, Berenberg Mentor
“One of the many positives I will take is that I also learnt a lot from an 18-year-old. It wasn’t solely about her learning from me. By me helping her, it also taught me a lot about myself. She knows what she wants to do and what it will take to get there. Whatever anxieties I may have had about mentoring were gone. Would I recommend others to do mentoring? I’m doing it now.” Eric, Berenberg Mentor
What do we ask from our Berenberg mentors?
Berenberg colleagues from a wide range of career paths across the firm are welcome to get involved, to give the students a broad range of options of people to engage with. They typically work with them through their last few weeks of Year 12, until they finish school after their A-levels. In return, we believe Berenberg Journey offers the mentors a powerful development opportunity as they contnue on their journey to being effective managers and leaders.