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Awo’s great professional pathway

Awo Guhad has been improving her industry knowledge, networking and leadership skills through the Academy programme delivered by Birmingham Metropolitan College.

The 19-year-old student participated in workshops, lectures and events based on professional services industry practices as well as the variety of career opportunities available. She also completed an internship with Wesleyan and acted as deputy chair at Birmingham Aspire, an organisation dedicated to supporting the career advancement of young people.

Talking about her accolade, Awo said: “It’s a huge honour to have been chosen as the student of the year. Being in the Academy has helped me develop my business head, while encouraging me to explore different areas of interest. These included inspiring other young people, especially females to persevere with their ambitions.

“Two years on, I know what I’m capable of, what I aspire to achieve and exactly how I can achieve it. My Academy experiences have made me comfortable about being in any working environment. I now have a greater level of confidence about as going as far as I can in my career.”

Awo’s next steps include studying Policing and Criminal Investigation at the University of Central Lancashire. She was one of 14 students graduating from the GBPSA’s two-year employer-led programme, which they completed alongside their studies.

The Academy, established in September 2013, by BMet College, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Gateley, GVA, LaSerUK, Lloyds, KPMG and Wesleyan is the first of its kind in the UK to combine A level and vocational-based studies with an employer-led programme that educates and guides young people into careers in business, law, finance and property.

Suzie Branch-Haddow, Director of the Greater Birmingham Professional Services Academy commented: “The key aims of the Academy are to ensure our scholars develop a ‘can do’ attitude and understand the industry by being ‘on the inside’. We encourage them to develop their own business networks and connections, while identifying key areas of interest that will help their future career progress.”

The GBPSA class of 2015 are all progressing to employment or higher education university studies, with a greater understanding of the sector and the career opportunities available to them in the region.

Suzie Branch-Haddow continued: “Thanks must also go to all partners, whose commitment to the Academy ethos has meant we have delivered an innovative employer-led education programme that motivates young people and supports industry expectations about its future workforces.

“Going forward, the GBPSA will strengthen its position through a new, central Birmingham base at Matthew Boulton College. From here we will be right at the heart of the Greater Birmingham region’s professional services business district.”

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