At Bright Network we are committed to giving every student the best first step in their career, and advocating diversity and inclusion is critical to this mission. That's why we were delighted to host our third edition of Black Heritage Future Leaders on Friday 4th October 2019, where we welcomed over 90 of our most engaged BME members to central London to connect with 12 world-leading firms from a range of sectors.
We kicked off the day with a keynote speech from the brilliant Reggie Nelson. Reggie talked to members about his personal career journey, famously going 'from East London to the City', and his current roles as a Graduate Analyst at Legal and General Investment Managers, Group Chair of the ACCA Emerging Talent Advisory Group and Founder of social mobility enterprise K3D. He also gave members valuable advice on how to stay grounded and not lose themselves in the corporate world:
"Where I'm from, you can't forget your background. The higher I go, the more I need to keep sending down that elevator to bring people up with me. I know what it's like to be there and I can't let myself forget that!" - Reggie Nelson
We then moved onto open networking with our top-tier partner firms. Members had the exclusive opportunity to network with representatives from Accenture, American Express, BP, Herbert Smith Freehills, KPMG, Reed Smith, Rothschild & Co, RPC, Shell, Softcat, UBS and Willis Towers Watson and learn more about some of their fantastic opportunities.
"Coming here and meeting these companies has changed my expectations of what I wanted to do... I've found out so many opportunities for first year students" - Black Heritage Future Leaders attendee
The open networking was followed by our panel session on the topic of "diversity - how it enriches the workforce" with senior employees from each of our partner firms. During this session members had the chance to hear about what each panellist's firm is doing to promote diverse and inclusive workforces, as well as their personal career journeys and experiences in each company. At the end, we also had some time for students to ask panellists any questions or worries they had as they begin to carve out their own careers.
We wrapped up the day with our Bright Network Awards ceremony, where three firms chose to reward our brightest members who had excelled in commercial awareness, leadership or another outstanding achievement. Well done to all of our award winners!
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