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Kingsley Boateng, City Year London, 2014-15

Volunteer mentor in uniform

From an early age, I have been engaged in promoting social mobility. I think it is imperative society affords its citizens the opportunity to create a better tomorrow, despite the outlook of today. Joining City Year was about making that conviction a reality for at least, one child. To my pleasant surprise, my City Year helped me press forward with my own career ambitions. A number of development opportunities came my way during my year – too many to articulate in fact, so I will focus on two.

A significant development opportunity I had was interning with the Royal Household at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. Working for such an historic organisation certainly aided my professional development, as I cultivated several skills working on important tasks with an eclectic bunch of colleagues. But equally as important was the effect the internship had on my employability. At almost every interview I had post-City Year, I was asked with intrigue to detail what my experience at the Palace entailed. It became clear my experience with the Royal Household, an opportunity City Year afforded me, was a unique selling point on my CV.

Through contacts at City Year, I gained a mentor at Ashurst. His advice during the application and interview process proved invaluable. His guidance was particularly useful because our interactions helped me learn how best to present myself on paper and in person. Our regular meetings also made me more comfortable engaging with senior professionals, which worked in my favour during interviews.

I went on to work for the International Development Select Committee at the House of Commons, before securing a training contract with Herbert Smith Freehills.

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