“By getting involved in programmes like Profit Hunt, businesses open the door for innovative ideas, inspire their employees and have a lasting impact on students.”
In our latest interview, we hear from Matthew Kitchen, Investment Risk Manager at Artemis Investment Management. He spoke about his experience on Profit Hunt, our social mobility programme for sixth-form students, designed to widen access to the investment profession. Matthew reflected on how impressed he was with the students he worked with and the benefits of having more diversity in the finance industry.
Why did you want to take part in Profit Hunt?
I thought it was a great opportunity to introduce young talent to the world of investing. When I was younger, I did a programme similar to Profit Hunt and it has had a big impact on my career. I wanted to give the same experience to other students.
What impressed you the most about the students in your team?
So many things! They were super inquisitive and always asked thought-provoking questions. They were hard-working, always well prepared and organised and would even get together independently outside of the sessions to work on their portfolio. This was particularly impressive as they were juggling exams and other commitments. They were also very adaptable, the students would come to a session with strong ideas about what made a good choice of company to invest in but were able to absorb new information and challenged each other to make sure they were making the right decisions.
What do you think the students got out of working with you and Artemis?
I would say it teaches them about investing. I also think it gives them a more realistic insight into how the world works, through research and investing they were able to see another side to the brands they know and love.
The programme is designed to offer an insight into what it’s like working in an office, which helped the students to develop invaluable soft skills such as organisation and time management. The structure supported their development but the students had to be engaged and committed to be successful, which is another important message to take through life.
What would you say you got out of working with the students?
Where do I start?! I really enjoyed being in a group with so much diverse thinking as it meant I could step back and listen. This allowed the students to feel confident sharing their ideas and allowed me to learn from them. When they did need a bit of direction, I was able to test my understanding of investing which was refreshing as I had to find more creative and interesting ways to explain what investing is and the concepts surrounding it.
How did the programme help you to connect and build authentic relationships with someone who might be different to you?
It taught me the power of diverse thought and insight. Each member of the team brought fresh ideas to the table and had an equal voice. I think this made the team better because if everyone had the same way of looking at things then we would have missed out on opportunities that could have improved the portfolio. I also enjoyed being able to speak to the students about topics outside of finance, supporting them to make important decisions about their futures. I was able to find similarities in each student and offer advice from my own experiences even though my circumstances may have been different.
How has this experience influenced your thinking and behaviours in and outside of work?
I was in awe of the students’ brand knowledge and analysis of current trends. This taught me to challenge my status quo as we can develop fixed mindsets over the years and just accept things for how they are. It has encouraged me to push for more diversity in the financial services industry as I’ve seen how this has benefited me and the students on my team. My team was made up of 5 female students which made me reflect on a statistic by Deloitte: “In 2021, the proportion of women in leadership roles within financial services firms is 24%”. This is astonishing and I think we can be doing more, especially at a young age to make a change.
How was your experience working with the Arrival team?
They were excellent and super organised, they helped me to define my role as a mentor so I could be the best support for my team. The expectations were set and the Arrival team were always on top of things whilst having a good connection with the students.
How would you describe the programme to a colleague who is thinking of taking part?
It is a great opportunity and more impactful than just having someone shadow you. You get to share your knowledge with clever and ambitious students as well as see the students grow from the things they’ve learned. The experience will give you a fresh perspective on your job and you will realise that no one necessarily has more or less experience, just different experiences, and these can all add value.
What advice would you give to students and potential businesses who are thinking of taking part in the programme?
To students, I would say: absorb as much as possible as you will develop many of the skills you need for your future careers. To businesses, I would say: get involved as you will open the door for innovative ideas, inspire your employees and have a lasting impact on the students who take part. The programme allows everyone to get something different and you learn loads from all perspectives.