Looking back at my time on Access Aspiration
Access Aspiration is our employability programme designed to create more visibility of careers for 16-18 year olds through aspirational employer encounters and experiences. But what impact does the programme have on students once they leave school? To find out, we talked to Access Aspiration alumnus Wumi, who is now 19 and studying Economics at the University of Bristol.
“While enrolled on the Access Aspiration programme, I attended several very insightful work experience placements and business insights. That one that stuck with me the most was with property development company Seaforth Land. This experience really impacted my future choices and taught me that I have a keen interest in the property sector.
During the insight, we learnt about all aspects of the company including acquisition, the role of investors, and the importance of researching each project before you start. It was great to see so many employees involved and for them to take to the time to come and speak to us.
Before this day, I wasn’t aware of all the opportunities and pathways into a career in property. That’s why it was so useful to hear from employees about their journeys into work and how they pushed themselves to get where they are today. Hearing from the CEO was great as it was really inspiring to see someone’s journey to create their own company.
Another experience while on the programme that really struck me was an insight with property investment company, Brockton Capital. This is one of the best things I’ve ever done; all the employees treated us so nicely and even invited us out to construction sites. It was really fun seeing the building process first hand and experiencing everything from safety vests to construction materials. Now, years on, I’m still in contact with most of the employees I met that day and this industry is one I’m hoping to explore after university.
The opportunity to experience a wide range of work experience placements and businesses insights opened my eyes to what I might want to experience in the working world. Without these experiences, I would never have considered any of the roles I am now looking at.
I believe programmes like Access Aspiration are needed now more than ever. Due to Covid-19, there are not a lot of opportunities out there for young people – particularly for those from BAME backgrounds. The death of George Floyd last year brought to light many issues around equal opportunities; we must all make sure we do our bit to tackle this by emailing companies to do better when it comes to making their workplaces more diverse.
Access Aspiration definitely impacted on my career. If I didn’t go to these experiences, I’d have never thought about a career in property and my CV has also been greatly enhanced as a result. The Access team themselves were also really impressive and cared about our experience, which really helped.
So, to anyone considering signing up to Access Aspiration, I would say definitely do it! It is so important to explore all the opportunities you can. You might think you’re not interested in a particular career, but there’s nothing to lose by trying it out. Who knows? You might find it fascinating.”