Citi volunteer Fran Burke tells us about his experience volunteering to teach the Enterprise in Action programme
For a number of years I have been involved in Junior Achievement programmes at the primary and second level. I always found the programmes really enjoyable and rewarding. The ultimate pleasure however was the idea of giving back to my former secondary school by delivering a programme there. I got in touch with the Junior Achievement team and thankfully they were able to accommodate this through their new Enterprise in Action programme which is supported by the Citi Foundation.
The programme itself was delivered over 5 weeks and the materials provided by the Junior Achievement team were well structured – allowing for interesting discussions and engagement with the class. The training in advance of the programme was excellent – networking with others delivering the same programme in different schools helped as it allowed me to discuss elements of my programme with others during the course of the 5 weeks and learn from their experiences as well as sharing my own.
I always recommend Junior Achievement to colleagues here in Citi. In our roles we are constantly required to deliver materials and presentations as well as manage and coordinate meetings. The programmes themselves have a heavy emphasis on delivery but also time management to ensure you can deliver all the content effectively. In addition they help build confidence – you can’t stand in front of a group of transition year students unless you have done your preparation and research in advance! The skills you develop in delivering the course have helped me in other areas in my normal day to day role.
During the Enterprise in Action programme you present what it means to be an entrepreneur, the specific characteristics of an entrepreneur and discuss the benefits and possible challenges in starting a new business. The idea generation session was really great and allowed the students to get creative in identifying possible problems and solutions – I had ideas from motorised poop-scoopers to teleporters to the more practical locker valet services and school kits suppliers. Students go on to explore the identification of the target market and possible techniques to determine this before going into the topical use of social media in promoting a business. The final session then covers an interesting discussion on ethics and ethical dilemmas and prompted some interesting discussions on recognising the right thing to do. The programme encourages creativity and a lot of discussion with the students.
I especially enjoyed the interaction with the students and being part of the creative process. It was a great experience for me to go back to a school I am very proud to have been part of, very little has changed but it is good to give the benefit of my experiences throughout the programme. I am just waiting on Junior Achievement to confirm whether the terms of the programme include 5% of the profits of any businesses started following successful completion – if I ever see a motorised pooper-scooper I can say I know that guy!