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8th March 2022

National Careers Week – giving something back

So, what does it feel like to #givesomethingback?

Through our continued work in communities, we have the opportunity to engage with young people through education, to help inspire a new generation of professionals, practitioners or trades people in the world of the built environment.

We spoke to three of our team Liz Halsall, Project Data Manager, Sinead Meally, Planning Manager & Lauren Smith, Executive Support, who recently helped with hosting mock interviews with a group of year 10 students at Greenwood Academy, a local secondary school to our Peddimore Birmingham development in Castle Vale.

How did it go?

Sinead: It was an extremely positive experience. I was surprised how receptive the students were to us, and that they wanted to be part of the process. We all came away feeling like the students had benefited from the experience, and Greenwood seems like an exceptional academy.

Liz: You could see some of the students were nervous at first, so it was good to put them at ease and gradually see them coming out of their shells and gaining more confidence. It was also refreshing to hear that their aspiration was to enjoy their job, have a nice home and family.

Lauren: The best part for me as an education ambassador for IM Properties is, it’s not just about these 20-minute interviews. It’s part of our on-going work with the school through our wider social value programme, meaning we will get to engage on many different levels with the school, and perhaps help some of the students find work experience opportunities at a later stage.

What do you get out of the experience?

Sinead: Basically, it felt good for the soul, knowing it’s not all about business and that we are doing something to positively benefit young people.

Liz: It’s very rewarding, and I love that we get to do these things as part of our day to day job, no questions asked, no, how are you going to cover your work? It says a lot about the company we work for, and how committed they are to giving back..

Lauren:  It’s given me a new dimension to my job and what’s more, it’s actively encouraged at IM. I work directly for two of the senior management team and being an education ambassador is written into my KPI’s, they know it’s important to me.

What would be your key advice to students, looking back at your 15-year-old self?

Sinead: Don’t feel under pressure to know exactly what you want to do! When you leave school, there is plenty of time to try out different directions and find your feet.

Liz: Time goes so fast….travel, explore and know that it is okay to learn by your mistakes.

Lauren: Don’t get in the way of your own dreams. The world is a bi