KPMG is one of the largest professional services companies in the world and a keen supporter of Mosaic’s UK schools programmes and, in particular, the Enterprise Challenge.
The firm hosted both the West Midlands and North West 2016 Enterprise Challenge Regional Finals in its Birmingham and Manchester offices respectively, with senior members of the team also on the judging panel at each event, including partner, Paul Heywood.
Paul said: “We’re proud to continue our association with Mosaic which is a fantastic organisation, encouraging young people to achieve their potential. The Enterprise Challenge competition makes me extremely confident about tomorrow’s business leaders.”
Earlier this year, KPMG hosted a special event for the overall winners and runners-up of last year’s Enterprise Challenge at its prestigious offices in Canary Wharf.
Skinner’s Academy in Hackney were joined by Langley Academy in Slough and treated to a business masterclass hosted by Melody Hossaini, a former contestant on BBC’s The Apprentice. The students were given guidance about setting up a business as well as a session designed to improve their confidence, communication skills and self-awareness.
Meanwhile, KPMG in the West Midlands hosted Mosaic’s mid-year celebration event in Birmingham where mentors and businesses gathered to bear witness to Mosaic’s continued excellent work in the region. Attendees were also treated to a special performance by pupils from a local primary school.
KPMG staff across the country have volunteered as Mosaic mentors for many years, including Lisa Mahoney from the West Midlands.
Lisa said: “After five years in the accountancy profession and a further 20 working in industry, I felt it was time to challenge myself by helping others. There’s nothing to match talking to a classroom full of 14 and 15 year olds, all of whom ask interesting, challenging questions.
“I’d often have to think on my feet and explain concepts in plain English which, after a career spent in the business environment, was often trickier than I thought it would be. The support from Mosaic has been brilliant and I found the whole process rewarding. I would certainly recommend mentoring to others in business. It’s such a great opportunity to help young people feel confident enough to pursue a career but you also find out a massive amount about yourself too.”
Rob Pickering, also based at KPMG in Birmingham, has been mentoring a group of Year 9-11 pupils at Grace Academy in Darlaston. He said: “Most students had low self-esteem and were reluctant to communicate openly, but through workshops and getting actively involved the majority of the group have been able to progress.
“Each mentoring session has been challenging and rewarding – it has been a good challenge to think differently and try to get in to the students’ mind set. The students have some great potential but they each have things which may be holding them back from achieving their potential. Being able to spend time doing that and hopefully make a difference has been great.
Karen Mackenzie has been an auditor at KPMG for 27 years and has mentored with Mosaic at Rockwood School in Alum Rock, supporting a group of Year 9 students with seven other mentors. She said: “The dominant feature we noticed was lack of confidence in talking in front of the group and in sharing ideas. As a mentor group we have therefore used Mosaic material and designed our own games to encourage the students to present themselves and their ideas more confidently.
Andy Caulton is an IT Consultant at KPMG in Birmingham. He explained: “I wanted to do something a little bit different, and I also wanted the chance to ‘give back’ and to help the community. Most of my work helps companies do things better and make more money, which is all well and good, but I wanted to do something which felt a little more rewarding in another perspective.”
Andy also mentors at Grace Academy. He said: “At the start, the kids are naturally cautious about the whole process. However, as we have been able to start talking to them in smaller groups, they have started to interact more and started to get more out of the sessions, which has been really positive.
“I think the best session held to date was where we got the mentees to ask the mentors questions about their own history and experiences, which was often a case of ‘we were in the same position as you!’ It’s become something I look forward to and has actually helped a little in my own life – I enjoy coming home and telling my wife all about it!”