Steve Wren, Head of Regulatory Change at Brewin Dolphin Investment Management, joined a team of volunteers on the 19th October as the firm hosted the latest of their regular Enabling Enterprise student visits.

Here, Enabling Enterprise’s Simon Hill asks Steve about his experience. Steve reflects on his time at school, his first job and then the experience of working with Year 5 (9-10 year olds) from Enabling Enterprise Partner School Dairy Meadow Primary as they took part in a fast-paced finance challenge!

SH: What was your school like when you were there?
SW: My primary school had just 60 pupils and only 2 classrooms! My school was so small we had to merge with another local primary school – equally small – to form a football team.

SH: What is the best thing you remember from your time there?
SW: The brilliant primary school teacher we had in our senior classroom and how enjoyable the lessons were, just merging from one thing to another during the day.

SH: What was your least favourite thing?
SW: The football pitch we shared was beside a farm and when the ball went over the fence we would have to retrieve it from a field full of pigs. And we had a separate toilet building that was always freezing cold in winter!

SH: What was your first experience of the world of work?
SW: My first job was a Saturday job at a local restaurant – I lasted 6 weeks until the chef threw a pan at my cousin.

SH: What was your first impression of joining the student visit to Brewin Dolphin?
SW: How happy and friendly the children were.

SH: What stood out about the students and the activity they were involved in?
SW: Their enthusiasm and energy – how keen they were to get involved – they made the day.

SH: Enabling Enterprise works with schools across England to help students develop 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?
SW: Staying positive is the key. Maintaining a positive and optimistic outlook is so important – and will not only help you overcome any difficulties you experience but inspire the people around you to do their best as well.

SH: Thinking about the eight skills again, what advice would you give to students at your old school, or any school, about those skills and their importance to them in the future?
SW: All of these skills will help you at work, whether you are making the tea or running the company, and you can practice them in any situation; work, rest or play!

SH: What difference do you think Enabling Enterprise would have made to you during your time at school?
SW: Just presenting an eye-opening experience of an actual workplace in such a fun way.

SH: Brewin Dolphin hosts regular visits for students taking part in Enabling Enterprise’s programmes in schools across England. What advice would you give other colleagues about getting involved in an Enabling Enterprise student visit?
SW: Easy – just do it! I enjoyed the opportunity to show the youngsters how we use the same real life skills they are learning in our own work every day and so bring them alive in such an interactive and fun environment… you are guaranteed an immediate and enthusiastic response.

SH: Anything else?
SW: Thanks for the opportunity to be part of such a great initiative – and I look forward to participating again in future.

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.

Brewin Dolphin supports our vision and regularly hosts Enabling Enterprise student visits as part of a long-term partnership that supports their corporate responsibility and employee volunteering goals. More Enabling Enterprise visits are taking place in the Spring Term in London (26th of January), Manchester (27th January) and Nottingham (9th March).

To get in get in touch about our school programmes call 020 7183 6292 or email info@enablingenterprise.org

To find out how to get involved as an employer or a volunteer contact Simon Hill on simon.hill@enablingenterprise.org

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