Giving back at The PSC
Four staff members share their experiences of pro bono opportunities at The PSC
We’re proud of the fact that our staff can dedicate up to one day a month to pro bono work. This work takes many varied forms across the company.
Our approach to agreeing pro bono work with staff is flexible and the guiding philosophy is a simple one: “if you can look a colleague in the eye and explain the idea you have, and they say ‘what a good idea’, then that is all the justification we need”.
In this article, four staff members explain how they have taken up this opportunity.
Professional mentoring for promising undergraduates
“A core component of The PSC's pro bono programme is the relationship we have with upReach, a social mobility charity which supports undergraduates from less advantaged backgrounds to access and sustain top graduate jobs.
We hold an annual upReach Insight Day at our offices with 20 promising undergraduate students. These students broaden their horizons and raise their career aspirations as they learn about management consulting, public services, and life at The PSC. To make this impact more long-lasting, many of our staff are also mentors with upReach – countering students’ lack of access to professional networks through regular 1-to-1 mentoring sessions.
As an upReach mentor, I have found the experience extremely rewarding and fulfilling. You get to help a talented student realise their potential, develop their self-confidence so that they can succeed, and refine the skills they will need for top jobs. It has also been a valuable experience for me professionally; I have developed some of the skills key to my own consulting career – coaching, communicating effectively, and encouraging others to be the best they can be.”
Supporting refugees seeking employment in the UK
“The PSC has a long-standing partnership with the Refugee Council, supporting their work in offering practical support for refugees seeking employment in the UK.
Pro bono is a popular aspect of life at the company, and many consultants regularly volunteer their time to support this charity. Our work with the group involves bimonthly afternoon sessions with members of the Refugee Council to provide one-to-one coaching of employment skills – from CV workshops to mock interviews. The partnership has been running since November 2015 and we have been able to work with over 100 members of the charity in this time.
Through coordinating the programme, I’ve found it a huge privilege to both support and learn from such positive and inspirational individuals. It is a humbling and rewarding experience for our consultants, reminding us of the impact our work can have and allowing us to develop some of our core consulting skills in communication, emotional intelligence and positively influencing others.
The work done by The PSC is only a small part of the service offered by the brilliant team at the Refugee Council, and we are delighted to be involved.”
Strategic thinking for a local school
“Over the past ten years I have had the privilege of being a non-executive director at Harrow College, and latterly, Harrow College Uxbridge College (HCUC).
Taking on roles of Chair of Curriculum, Chair of Learner Voice and Chair of Harrow stakeholder & Scrutiny Committee, I’ve been able to develop my board level leadership skills whilst working in a hugely important – and I’d say far underappreciated – part of the education sector: Further Education. Helping set the strategic direction for an organisation which helps improve the skills, career aspirations and life chances of people in my local area is something I’m extremely grateful to be a part of.”
Championing inclusion at a schools trust
“In my pro bono work I have focused on education and inclusion – working with a group of schools as a non-executive director and with the Refugee Council on their Refugees into Jobs programme. One of the highlights for me has been working directly with refugees on CVs and interview technique; I have really valued the opportunity to work with some inspiring people.
My work with the schools trust has been more strategic, focusing on how we develop what we offer for students coming from a wide range of starting points. I have drawn heavily on my experience and training at The PSC to help develop our approach. It’s been great to have shaped something for students and see it implemented and developed over the longer term, in a way that you don’t always get to do on consulting projects.”
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