Giving Together: the importance of volunteering
Many of our partners came together as part of our #GivingTogether month in October to mentor a diverse group of students, from The Open Private School and The Social Mobility Foundation, to help them gain valuable career insights and learn more about what life is like in the world of professional services.
Justin Rix and Louise Mouton Mbie share their experiences as mentor and mentee with the Open Private School, what impact mentor volunteering has and why people should consider taking part.
Louise Mouton Mbie, Tax Associate
I joined the firm as a school leaver in September 2023 in the Corporate and Multinational Tax team, after being paired with Justin Rix, a partner in People Advisory, last year through the Open Private School.
Young people must make important decisions about their future with little information or support available to them in the state-school system, which means we ultimately have less diverse pools in the professional world.
Charities like The Open Private School help state-educated students take advantage of opportunities and reach their dream jobs, and last year I was lucky enough to have Justin as my mentor.
Through the programme, and meeting with Justin, I was also able to connect me with lots of different people within the firm, and my time with him helped me decide that the Grant Thornton school leaver opportunity was the best option for me.
He taught me so much, about what advisory has to offer and the qualification, and it helped to speak to someone who could help me understand the different aspects of a professional environment, especially in accountancy.
Through the charity and my mentor, I’ve obtained skills and understanding about my career and the opportunities available to me. I met a variety of interesting professionals from all kinds of finance careers which helped me to see where my career could go and learn what was best for me.
Justin Rix, People Advisory Partner
I am a partner in the Business Consulting team and head up our People Advisory offering, which provides support to our clients on all aspects of their people agenda.
Volunteering is my way of repaying all the people who gave up their time for me - to give me the help, support and guidance that has made such a huge difference to my life and career. My volunteering role with the Open Private School was to mentor young people like Louise, either on a one-to-one basis or to a group.
As a mentor you give encouragement and support to a mentee in their chosen career or life path. It's rewarding to help someone grow and gain a better start in their life and career, despite any disadvantages they’ve face or still currently face.
I always approach volunteering experiences with an open mind, and don’t really have too much in the way of expectation and what always surprises me is just how much help I can give.
My volunteering experience has genuinely been life changing. It’s helped me to raise my awareness and understanding and be far more intentional and thoughtful about how I relate to and engage with people. That makes a huge difference to someone’s experience.