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SMF Alumni Spotlight: Bukola and BDO LLP

Each year, Social Mobility Foundation students progress from university to careers with a wide range of top employers across the country. Our alumni network is an integral part of what we do, helping professionals to connect to others in their sector from similar backgrounds, enhance their skills and raise awareness of the SMF in their workplace. We have recently launched our SMF Undergraduates and Alumni group on LinkedIn and a newsletter to keep alumni updated on our work.

An increasing number of SMF alumni choose to volunteer with the SMF after they have entered the world of work as e-mentors, event contributors or internship hosts.

We are also keen to hear from alumni who have new ideas to support SMF students, and were delighted when Bukola got in touch with us last year. Bukola attended Christ The King Sixth Form College in London and joined the London APP City programme in 2010, before studying Economics at the University of Warwick. She contacted us last year from her new role as a Management Consultant at accountancy and business advisory firm, BDO LLP:

“I was keen to get involved with an SMF initiative because I had great experiences with the SMF as a programme participant. Through the SMF, I participated in commercial training sessions, secured internships and explored my business interests. Within my current role, I understand the value of accessing those experiences at an early stage.”

With the help of Bukola and her colleagues, we delivered our first ever Build a Business Challenge event for SMF undergraduates in November 2016. Participants had a wide variety of career interests, from Business and Banking to Law and Politics, and were encouraged to think about why commercial awareness is important in their sector. After attending workshops on communication and teamwork skills, they put these skills into practice in a real-world scenario by designing a business and responding to live information and challenges. Bukola said:

“The BDO Build a Business Challenge aims to provide students with insight into the business world. It is run by a team of young working professionals from BDO who are passionate about sharing their experiences and promoting wider access within professional services. We were impressed by the teamwork, leadership and problem-solving skills displayed by SMF participants, as well the overall enthusiasm of all attendees.”

Students enjoyed developing their skills and deepening their understanding of commercial awareness. A third year Economic History student at LSE said, “I really enjoyed the whole day. All the activities taught me something and were fun. I would like to do something like this again.”

However, it wasn’t just the undergraduates who benefited from the event! Bukola commented, “Personally, I have enjoyed developing and leading the Business Challenge programme at BDO. I have developed skills in leadership, organisation and presentation, which are also core skills in management consulting.”

If you would like to support the next generation of aspiring professionals by contributing to an SMF event or hosting a student placement, or if you just have a great idea for something new, we would love to hear from you! Get in touch with us at employers@socialmobility.org.uk.

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