This past academic year, the Student-Led Project On & Up Women in Finance has been working with Mulberry School for Girls. Insirah shared with us what it was like for the school to work with a student led project and the impact it had on their young students.

Can you briefly describe the activities that your students were involved in?

We worked with UCL Women in Finance , they delivered three sessions to our year 12 students in March.

The sessions were basically career advice and how to write your CV, you know, finding themselves after sixth form - so how to apply for grants and internships, how to look for part-time work or how to survive as a university student and preparing them for, basically after they leave school.

What impact did these sessions have on the students at your school?

They are more informed. I think that a lot of the activities focus on finance and how to apply for these grants and also how to survive, so it was a really good introduction into what would be expected of them when they do get to university.

As you know, school and university is very different. It’s a very different experience, so it’s nice that they were hearing from university students, delivering advice on how they can sort out their finances, what banks they can apply for, what banks are good for students, taking out loans, as well as how to stay within their limits and not to overindulge or go over their budget.

So it was really good to introduce to them how to balance their finances and who to go to for support

Of course, as a school we try to equip our students on how to become adults and how to become independent, so we do a lot of summer programmes and partnerships. Year 13 students would probably hear these things in the summer, but I think it’s really good that UCL Women in Finance came in and spoke to them about this a lot earlier, so they are not thinking about these things whilst they are applying for university, that they already know that there is help out there if they do need it as well.

Why did the school decide to host one of our Student-Led Projects?

We had done it before, so this is not the first partnership we’ve had with UCL, and it’s been quite valuable for our students. They really enjoy speaking with university students as well, and gaining some information as to how they applied, how they got in, and how they are dealing with their finances.

It was pretty much catered to our students, it wasn’t just like a broad overview, and it was really great working with some of the students at UCL to deliver this project and to make sure that the students are really benefiting from it. So we carried it out again because we knew that it was quite valuable for them and there is a lot of interest.

What advice would you give to another school considering whether to host one of our Student-Led Projects?

I would just say get in touch with the Student-Led Volunteering team, it is a really good tool for students to learn. It’s really important that they learn about finance, particularly as they are going off to university, or they are thinking about their careers, so yeah! Definitely invest in that. I think for a long time this was not part of our curriculum, I certainly didn’t learn about finance at school, so it’s great that schools are taking that initiative and reaching out to organisations that offer that service.

I just want to say thank you to the girls that came up and volunteered, and gave up their Mondays to help our students, we really appreciate it.

If your school or organisation is interested in partnering with one of our Student-Led Projects? Find out more information here!