In November 2021, Arch kick-started its Student Mentorship Programme, providing support to students studying towards their General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) at Manchester Academy. This has now happily evolved into a successful completion of its second year. Arch welcomed a total of 23 students over the last two years during the programme, led by a 10-strong team of Arch mentors.
By working closely with the students, our mentors have been able to build a level of openness during the sessions, allowing the students to connect with positive role models, whilst providing guidance, advice and feedback on several topics suggested by the mentees and the school. Topics have included career planning, time management, prioritization and organization, professional etiquette, public speaking and presentation skills.
Arch mentors hosted on-site visits to our local Manchester office, providing a great opportunity for mentees to get a feel of an office environment and expand their knowledge about the insurance industry. The visits were coupled with cognitive thinking workshops for the mentees which focused on effective communication, interview skills, creating a CV and tackling interview questions. All student mentees were also awarded a certificate of completion and Arch mementos upon graduation.
Assistant Vice Principal Deniece Boateng of Manchester Academy has provided some fantastic feedback from the students. “They absolutely loved it and engaged really well in each session, they were an absolute credit to their families and the Academy,” Boateng says.
Puja Ashcroft, HR Business Partner (Information Technology), comments, “We work closely with the school to understand the development needs of the students in order to create a bespoke mentoring plan to upskill them in those specific areas. It has been an incredible learning experience for us, and the student’s passion to learn, grow and develop into confident individuals not only made me realize how much this programme meant to them but also pushed me to give my best to make it a valuable experience for them. I am really proud to be a part of this wonderful initiative!”
Vicky Rowlay, Vice President, National Director, Business Transformation, Arch Insurance UK Regional Division, who has also been heavily involved as one of the mentors, explains, “I was thrilled to be a part of this programme, I think I learned as much from my mentees as they did from me. It was fantastic seeing the students grow in confidence, and I feel so proud of what they will undoubtedly achieve as they move into their GCSE year.”
Arch continues to support this important initiative and looks forward to welcoming the new cohort later this year!