Helen Kelly, Managing Director, Country Manager and Head of Corporate Banking at Barclays Ireland, joined 5th year students in Our Lady of Mercy College for a JA Inspires career talk while the students were learning from home.
JA Inspires is a 60 minute workshop which showcases the important stories JA volunteers have to tell. Students learn from CEOs, entrepreneurs and experts about their career and educational paths – inspiring students to see themselves in similar careers and to realise that skills they acquire at school are transferable to the workplace.
Helen has volunteered for over 10 years with Junior Achievement and has provided incredible support in encouraging volunteering in Barclays Ireland.
Helen spoke about her hobbies of marathon running and Netflix, key moments in her life such as moving to London at 18 to start in Barclays and how far she has come with Barclays to be now running corporate banking in Ireland. Helen even showed the students a picture of the job advert in the “Smash Hits” magazine that led to her first Barclays interview at 18, an apprenticeship which allowed her to study as well as work.
Helen gave lots of great advice to the students, discussing how: “Rejections make you stronger” and how challenges can also be great opportunities to grow and adapt. The students learned about corporate banking and the type of clients that Helen works with on a daily basis. The importance of transferable skills was also discussed, especially in regards to being a self-starter, teamwork, and communication. She left the students with an important reminder:
“Studying doesn’t finish when you leave school or college.”
The students were incredibly engaged and asked a range of questions about her management role, investment banking, and risks along the way.
JA Inspires is a fantastic way for our volunteers to reach out to students while they are learning from home. It gives our volunteers a chance to tell their story and inspire the next generation of leaders. Thank you to Barclays for their continued support of JA and to Ms. Mc Evoy and the students of Our Lady of Mercy for participating in the workshop.