Tue, 07 May 2019

The final of Birmingham Young Professional of the Year is upon us once again and as BNP Paribas Personal Finance, lead sponsors of the event, we’re looking forward to attending the ceremony at the ICC, showing our support for the best young talent that Birmingham has to offer and celebrating with this year’s winner.

The sponsorship, which is part of our ongoing commitment to supporting opportunities for young people across the region, is now in its third year. Here Laura Thursfield, last year’s winner, reflects on how being named Birmingham’s Young Professional of the Year has impacted on her career.

BYPY represents an incredible opportunity for young people of the city to go out and showcase themselves and the great things that they’re doing across Birmingham, while also playing an ongoing role in the development of a city which is quickly moving forward on both a national and international stage.

I have to be honest, I did not anticipate being stood here as a winner after applying just 24 hours before the deadline! A Partner here at Mazars LLP put the forms on my desk and my client work had to take a backseat for the evening. I was thrilled just to be named as a finalist and viewed the evening as a chance to meet my fellow finalists and celebrate with the eventual winner. To say being named BYPY on the night was a shock would be an understatement.

As a born and bred Brummie who has worked hard to support the city’s continued progress, it was an incredibly proud day, both for me and my family. As a city, Birmingham has come through so much. My grandparents saw the city recover after being demolished in the blitz and my whole family has watched with pride as it has developed and morphed into the bustling, thriving metropolis it has now become.

You only have to look at the scope of talent, whether it’s the workshops of the Jewellery Quarter, the financial centre in Snow Hill or the creative businesses of Digbeth to see this in action. It always amazes me to think that you can have this much diversity and talent within such an easy half hour walk.

Being BYPY winner has given me an amazing opportunity to go out and be an advocate for the city. I found it incredible that within my company, staff from other offices were coming up and congratulating me, while pointing to the amazing things that are going on in the city. They’ve been really impressed by the way Birmingham recognises its talent and encourages young professionals to grow and thrive.

I think it’s important for the future of Birmingham that this continues to happen. One thing I have learnt from my year as Birmingham Young Professional of the Year is that the city has a heart. From the outside it may look like a big, impersonal place but once you get into its fabric you discover that it is diverse and accommodating, with amazing opportunities for the people who live and work here. The perfect place, then, for young people to create successful careers in their chosen profession.

For me, I’ll be passing the baton on to a new winner in the next few weeks, but the hard work won’t stop there. I’ve got an Executive MBA to study at Aston University, one of the big prizes for BYPY winners, and I’ll of course be continuing to get out and about around the city, supporting it as it continues to grow and thrive.

For all the finalists, I’d like to wish you the best of luck, and to the eventual winner I’d like to say you have a whole year of amazing opportunities and memories just waiting to take place – just make sure you grab them and make the most of them while you can.

BNP Paribas Personal Finance wishes all finalists the very best of luck for the BYPY awards on 16 May and looks forward to announcing the overall winner of BYPY 2019. For more information on BYPY please click here