Wed, 21 Jul 2021

At BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK, we take our responsibility as a major employer in the region very seriously, and giving back to the local community sits within our business’s core values.

Last month, we partnered with the Solihull Careers Hub to deliver a Dragons’ Den inspired challenge for Summerfield Education Centre students.

As part of this, colleagues across the business volunteered their time to inspire the students who got to grips with real-life business decisions and gained insight into the world of work.

Day One

With the COVID-19 pandemic having transformed the working landscape, we gave the students insight into how our operations have shifted as a result of this. Following this, Jayne Licari, our head of brand & external communications, tasked the students with creating an app for our BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK colleagues to support our new hybrid way of working.

Charlotte Ingham from spottydog communications led our second session, sharing her top tips for writing a press release. The students were then tasked with writing press releases to announce the launch of their hybrid working app.

Day Two

To kickstart day two of our Dragons’ Den challenge, the students learned about the world of finance from our head of management control, Clarissa Jones. Following this, they were given a finance task to plan how they would use their budget and make the app profitable.

Later in the day, Tracey Ryall-Aston, our multimedia graphic designer, spoke about what makes good branding and how to create an effective ad. She then set the students a task to bring their app to life by designing their branding and creating an Instagram ad.

Day Three

On the third day, we surprised the students with a cyber-attack – putting their app and their customers’ data at risk. The experience was made even more convincing by their headteacher sending a breach warning message through the schools’ internal speakers.

This led nicely onto our next session with head of IT & cyber risk, Chris Russell-Miller, who shared his top tips for making the app safe and hack-proof.

Before their final task, Tanya Gamble, talent and career business partner, held a session about presentation skills and talked to the students about the soft skills they’ll need as they prepared to present their ideas back to the panel of Dragons.

Day Four

After a week of valuable skills workshops, the students had the opportunity to present their hybrid working app ideas to the panel of Dragons. We were very impressed with the creativity and commitment from the Summerfield Education Centre students and how they had really engaged with all aspects of the programme.

Championing youth employment is a key part of our commitment to being a force for positive change, and we believe every young person deserves opportunities to succeed in life.

Seeing how the students engaged with the programme over the course of the week was a rewarding experience for all involved, and we’d like to say a big thank you to all of the BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK team members who got involved. Our colleagues have also been able to use their volunteering hours so they count against the BNP Paribas global volunteering campaign of 1MillionHours2Help.

Learn more about how we’re making a positive impact here.