Arrival Education
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Arrival Education

“Do it and do it now! Not only to inspire young talent but to create an opportunity to get brilliant talent excited about your business.”

We recently spoke to Alice Wright, Associate Investment Director at Investec. For the last four years, she has taken part in Invest For Success, our award-winning social mobility programme for Year 12 students from socially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. Alice reflects on her experience during the programme, what she has learnt and offers advice to anyone who wants to take part.

Alice Wright

I’ve been on the programme for the last four years. I first heard about the opportunity when I joined Investec and I was intrigued because I’d never seen or heard of anything like it before. I had done a lot of mentoring in previous roles but I always felt the lack of depth prevented me from having a real impact. With the Arrival programme, the way the programme is structured allows the students to get the most out of the experience, giving them the skills to be great investors and teaching them valuable life lessons.

It was amazing to see the transformation of the student's confidence as the programme progressed. Sometimes, you get the sense students take part in an opportunity because of school or family pressure. I could tell the students in my team wanted to learn and took a real interest in all elements of the programme, even when it challenged them. To top it all off they were incredibly humble. I’m truly impressed by them.

The students learnt how to deal with setbacks which is a huge life lesson and very important in the investment industry. At the time we were running the programme, there were many uncertainties in the world and this affected the stock market. In the beginning, one of the stocks in their portfolio had dropped by 2% and there was a sense of worry that this was going to affect the whole programme. This was a great learning opportunity as it gave the students real-life experience of what it’s like working in the investment industry and how to build on disappointment with a growth mindset.

Alice Wright and her team Hye’s Five

I was inspired by how excited students were about learning new things. It’s taught me that no matter where you get to in life you should always keep feeding that passion for learning.

I’ve also learnt the value of just being yourself. As professionals, we can sometimes seem like we know it all but by showing your humanity students are better able to relate to you and that connection allows everyone to have the best experience.

Over the years, I’ve learned some techniques that have helped me build relationships with the students. One of the first things I did when getting to know my students was to focus on our mutual interests and ask questions that have positive answers. It reinforced the idea that even though people have differences, our similarities often shine through and it’s important to focus on those similarities. Most of the time, differences are often preconceived and by actually getting to know somebody you might find that their differences are not a barrier.

The Arrival team has always made me feel really supported — their enthusiasm coupled with professionalism meant they were able to get the best out of all participants. I wouldn’t hesitate to ask them a question and I always had the resources I needed. The programme has evolved each year as Arrival recognises not every set of students will be the same and adapts to accommodate this. This year, we had an online portal, so we could engage with the students in a way that felt more natural to them.

Alice Wright and her team Hye’s Five

Do it and do it now! For students, you will gain invaluable experience in a real-life working environment and build the skills you will need for the future. For businesses, not only to inspire young talent but to create an opportunity to get brilliant talent excited about your business. Investec is a prime example as we have former students of this programme, now working with us and that seed planted during their programme has bloomed in our garden. I would also advise anyone to not take part if they are not committed, the more you are open and engaged the better experience you will have.



An award-winning organisation, Arrival Education has more than 13 years of experience helping leading businesses become more diverse and inclusive. We help businesses recruit, retain and develop socially and ethnically diverse young talent and help the talent achieve success.

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