Essential skills and high aspirations: From Salisbury Primary School to M&G Investments, and back again
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Anjulie Rusius, a Fund Manager at M&G Investments, tells Simon Hill, Enabling Enterprise’s Head of Partnerships, about meeting Year 3 and 4 students from her old school, Salisbury Primary, on their recent visit to M&G’s London offices.
Salisbury Primary students’ visit to M&G was just one element of their work with Enabling Enterprise this year. Salisbury Primary is now in their fifth year of working with Enabling Enterprise.
SH: What was Salisbury Primary School like when you were there?
AR: I really enjoyed my time at Salisbury Primary school. We used to have a system where you could earn smiley faces for doing something good or a sad face for bad behaviour. If you got five smiley faces in one day, you would earn a certificate in the shape of a leaf. There was a giant tree outside of the assembly hall and all of the leaves from all the children would be displayed. Each week in assembly, the names on the leaves would be read out and we would stand up – I used to try to get a leaf every day!
SH: What was your first experience of the world of work?
AR: When I was in secondary school I did some work experience near Upton Park in a lawyer’s office. I remember feeling excited, but scared. On the first day, they asked me to deliver some papers to a Central London law office. I was terrified – I had never used the tube by myself before, but I decided to be brave and accept the challenge. At the end of the day, I was so proud of myself – I had faced my fear and learnt to navigate the London tube system. It’s been very helpful ever since!
SH: What was your first impression of joining the Salisbury students on their visit to M&G?
AR: I was so impressed with their concentration skills and how they seemed so brave. I don’t think I would have been so calm and composed at their age!
SH: What stood out about the students and the activity they were involved in?
AR: I was very impressed with how they helped one another – teamwork is so important. I was especially impressed with the preparation – people writing things down and reading them, as well as those who went one step further and memorised some of what they wanted to say.
SH: Enabling Enterprise has been working with Salisbury Primary for a few years now, helping to develop student skills in eight key areas: Being Creative, Problem Solving, Aiming High, Staying Positive, Listening & Understanding, Presenting, Working in a Team and Leading. Which of these do you use most in your current role? Why is it important?
AR: All of those skills are so important – I have to use them ALL and every day. The ones that I place most value on are staying positive and working in a team. There will always be problems or things that can be improved, but working in an environment where attitudes are positive and teamwork is encouraged means that we find solutions and get more things done.
SH: Thinking about the eight skills again, what advice would you give to students at Salisbury, or any school, about those skills and their importance to them in the future?
AR: I love the list of skills, because I couldn’t find a more important list to describe “how to get what/where you want in life”. These skills are what we call “transferable” – they can be used anywhere. So whether you want to be a pilot or a football coach; it’s the same list of skills that are required. Try it – think of any job and see how the list is important for all the roles you can think of.
SH: Having been at Salisbury school yourself, what are your reflections on their partnership with Enabling Enterprise and how this supports students for their future success? What difference do you think Enabling Enterprise would have made to you?
AR: It’s such a great initiative. I grew up in East London and then I went to Cambridge University, but I never believed it could happen. An initiative like Enabling Enterprise would have made me realise much earlier that I could work somewhere “scary” like the City or go to a university like Cambridge. It would have given me the confidence to dream big dreams earlier and think that anything is possible, if you work hard enough.
SH: What advice would you give other colleagues about getting involved in an Enabling Enterprise student visit?
AR: Personally it was great for me having my primary school in. It made me appreciate how far I’ve come and reminded me how important it is to give-back. If other colleagues went to school in London, I would encourage them to invite them in.
It has been a wonderful experience remembering my time at Salisbury Primary School. I hope to get involved in a future EE visit to M&G and I would thoroughly recommend it to my colleagues too.
Enabling Enterprise was founded by teachers in 2009, and now works with over 60,000 students nationally. A not-for-profit social enterprise, our vision is to ensure that, one day, every student will leave school with the skills, experiences and aspirations to succeed.
Visit our website enablingenterprise.org
To get in get in touch about our school programmes call 020 7183 6292 or email email@example.com
To find out how to get involved as an employer or a volunteer contact Simon Hill on firstname.lastname@example.org