Luís Aguiar, Managing Director, Citi Country Officer, Portugal
In the past 10 years I have been a volunteer in several Junior Achievement programs, like “Economics for success”, “Banks in action” (that was a game based on strategy, to increase interest rates, marketing costs, etc). This game was very fun. I also participated in a few, also very intense. “Leaders-for-a -Day" job shadowing activities.
I find it interesting to know how a bank works. What I do is organize small meetings inside the bank with the several areas of the business, like client support, complain and infrastructures, aiming to give to the students a general idea of what is a bank and how it works, what kind of business we do, what kind of clients we have, and so on. These are the programs I was involved in during the past 10 years of volunteering.
The impact is very strong, because we can get out of our routine, and we have a set of sessions, depending on the programs, like 5 our 7 sessions. Exiting the day-to-day pattern in itself is very positive. And after, we face a different reality, we go out of our comfort zone and we are exposed to a group of people who are evaluating us in a certain way… either they are from high school or university, they are evaluating us. I think the most relevant is to go there with a sharing spirit, with information and knowledge. Because for me, what I love the most, taking in account my responsibility on managing people, is to see people grow: personally and professionally.
When they arrive in the morning they can ask “what can I do better using a different way? To be more efficient, to be more productive.” All of these are things that I consider important and I share that information as a volunteer. Because, in a couple of years, they will be part of the professional world.