November 30th, 2016
Making A Difference In The Lives Of Those Who Need It The Most
Author: Manuel Aguirre
On Friday 16 September, more than 30 Barcelona team members gathered together to welcome Marta and Monica, two project leads from Exit Foundation. This is a non-profit organization that aims to secure employment for young people at risk of social exclusion, through innovative training projects that also add value to companies and enhance networking. Our goal was drive further impact in our local community as part of the Community Involvement and Employee Engagement CSR pillar.
To date, eight colleagues from the Barcelona office have participated in #YobExit, an intensive, 2-month program where volunteers from the corporate world help youngsters improve their employability and job searching skills. It consists of four sessions: an initial speed dating exercise where participants explain their career goals and get matched with volunteers, two individual coaching sessions and one last speed dating with interviews to assess progress (14 hours in total).
Our first three volunteers were coaches in the program; Beatriz Ayuso, Rosanna Aquino and Daniel Martinez. Bartolome Salom and David Alamillo participated in the last speed dating round as interviewers. Additionally Mariana Urreiztieta, Yusuf Okucu and myself contributed by giving dedicated workshops on interviewing skills and how to conduct a job search.
Beatriz explains her participation: “we started our coaching sessions defining clear and specific goals to achieve within that time frame. They were followed up through the following sessions, while the program was providing the coachee further knowledge and resources to succeed”.
Mariana tells us about her experience in the panel interview workshop; “in groups of 2 they had to perform a self-presentation including their skills, motivations, hobbies and job opportunities they were searching for”. Afterwards, the panel –acting as if they were recruiters- asked some questions related to both personal and professional aspects. “We gave them the opportunity to choose one question they wanted to be asked. Finally, we gave them our feedback on their presentations, strengths and aspects to improve”.
Asked about his takeaways of the program, Daniel reflected that “supporting someone with other circumstances forced me to approach the situation with different eyes and put his needs as our primary objective”. Furthermore, in Rosanna’s own words, “it has been a fulfilling experience to be able to share my knowledge with someone who is beginning their professional career. I have really enjoyed being a mentor”.
Barcelona has developed various programs in the local community. Through the long existing Street Child Marathon, IT equipment donations, food & clothes collecting, or the recently launched social entrepreneur’s incubator Dream Real, our team strives to share their passion with the societies we serve. Stay tuned for more!