An eager group of students from Harbinger Primary School and their parents travelled from east London to J O Hambro Capital Management Ltd in the heart of the west end for an aspirational morning. J O Hambro is within a stone’s throw of The Ritz and Christie’s Auction House – so for children who rarely get the chance to visit central London, the journey there was the start of their adventure. To the surprise of the other business people entering the building at the start of their working day, the reception area of this shared office space was taken over by a large group of exuberant children with their parents. Excited chatter filled the reception with eager anticipation of the aspiration session ahead.
Rob Lancastle, Senior Fund Manager of the J O Hambro Global Opportunities Fund, volunteer, and former teacher, gave a warm welcome to everyone and provided an introduction to wealth management. He explained J O Hambro look after their clients’ money and took time to answer lots of questions from the children about his work. To help everyone feel at ease, the students (with the support of their parents and the volunteers) launched into a fun activity to match the pictures of inspirational people – such as the entrepreneur Richard Branson, England and Tottenham FC footballer Deli Alli, and Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai – with their key achievements. Interactive icebreakers are crucial so that everyone can get to know each other and start discussions with the group, such as what football team they support!
Parent: “A visit like this takes a child out of their comfort zone. It increases their confidence to speak to adults in a different environment. Everyone put them at ease – we need more things like this!”
The students took it in turns to interview six eager J O Hambro volunteers from various teams, such as Performance & Risk, IT, and Fund Management. The staff spoke about the benefits of having career ideas and ambitions, and the importance of hard work at school to make their dreams a reality, but to also have fun! The students also learned about the importance of teamwork at J O Hambro.
Volunteer: “The advice to my 10-year-old self would be to do more team activities and team building skills, such as sport and drama.”
Paul Carroll, Trader: “It was really valuable taking part in the aspiration session this morning. I think it’s essential to involve parents, and I noticed how much the Mums enjoyed seeing their children engaging with us. A really rewarding morning, I’m delighted to have been involved and to have had the opportunity to show the group that the world of business is not closed to them.”
For many of the children, this was the first time stepping into an office and got them thinking about what kind of job they want to have as adults. The students left J O Hambro on a high, feeling that anything is possible if you put the effort in and that it is OK to change your mind about what you want to do, because companies like J O Hambro welcome people from all backgrounds, with a range of qualifications.
Student: “It is good to see where you are – you can see that you have to work hard to get where you want to be.”
Stephanie Slade, Client Services and Relationship Manager & Member of J O Hambro Charity Committee: “It was really nice to give back, we really enjoyed having the group of mums and children with us this morning. It was interesting to understand their different backgrounds and our staff really valued the opportunity to be part of the session. This is a really great initiative organised by SHS, they provided us with support to run our first aspiration session, and we enjoyed coming up with our own ideas for activities. The take-up from our staff was really positive and we’re looking forward to doing more together.”