Top tips from top business leaders at 6th annual Career Builder

Career Builder 2019 brought City Year UK volunteer mentors together with top business leaders and rising stars to hear them respond to the question: “What advice would you give your 18 year-old self?”.

The annual event is one of the highlights of our leadership development programme, which equips participants with the skills and knowledge needed to prepare them for the world of work.


We partnered with leading executive search and leadership advisory firm Heidrick & Struggles for the event, who generously hosted two days of talks, panel discussions, interactive sessions and networking drinks, alongside an incredible line-up of speakers, which included: 

  • Geoff Quinn, Chairman T.M. Lewin
  • Paul Donovan, Philanthropist
  • Philippa Snare, CMO EMEA of Facebook
  • Steve Overman, former CMO of Kodak
  • Steven Cooper, CEO of Hoare & Co

Top tips

A number of themes were repeated across the talks, despite the varying backgrounds, career paths and industries of the speakers. Our five favourites were: 

  1. Find your fire! Life is short, spend it working on something you’re passionate about 
  2. Be adaptable, embrace new technology and experiences
  3. Have the guts to reach out to people and build/use your network
  4. You’re going to fail more than once. Own it and learn from it 
  5. Don’t be better, be different. Get diverse experience, work abroad and take risks to stand out

Bright future

Heidrick & Struggles’ consultants also delivered engaging sessions on CV building and interview techniques, alongside a Dragon’s Den style competition which challenged attendees to come up with an idea for a sustainable invention, overseen by the CCO of Sustainable Ventures, Chris Morris. 

The ideas included a solar-powered protective cycle lane in London and reusable, biodegradable packaging for toiletries. We were highly impressed with inventions from our volunteer mentors and Heidrick & Struggle’s guests, who are all no doubt going to be great future leaders!

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