Forget gap years and get a job in JD Sports, advises City lawyer


http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/jun/11/gap-year-students-get-a-job-hsbc-lawyer

Students should abandon gap-year plans and work at a local sports shop or a supermarket, according to a City lawyer.
Sandie Okoro, global lead lawyer for HSBC Global Asset Management, argued that students were better off getting “old-fashioned Saturday jobs” rather than spending 12 months at a far-flung animal sanctuary or orphanage. Such projects mainly signalled that “daddy is rich”, according to Okoro.
“Forget about the going to China and changing the world or whatever. What are you actually doing that’s different? I want people who can come to me and have had real experiences,” said Okoro in comments reported by the Daily Telegraph.
Speaking at the Girls’ Day School Trust conference, Okoro said gap years had “become the norm” and almost formulaic. “I see lots of similar things of the gap years. I’d like to see the mundane and ordinary come back in.”
She added: “It is very difficult to get into the workplace because it isn’t just about academics any more. And in some professions everyone’s got the same academics, and they can speak five languages as well. What are you going to bring to me that isn’t in front of me on somebody else’s CV?
“I see all these wonderful places, they’ve gone off to China and built an orphanage, they’ve done this and done that. OK, so your daddy is rich. That’s great. But when have you worked at JD Sports at the weekend to earn some money? When have you dealt with the public? They don’t care where you went to school.”
Okoro had a Saturday job at Marks & Spencer before embarking on a City career. She said: “If you come from a background where things are a little bit more challenging financially, you can’t afford to take that gap year and do that. You’re thinking how am I going to pay those university fees.

“I’d like to see the effort from the person. In the independent sector, there’s a lot of networking where you’re plugged into these things. It’s easier to go to China or to go and help in an orphanage. But what if you’re not plugged into that? Actually, spending a year working at JD Sports and maybe moving up to supervisor is just as significant and should be valued.”
Gap years have drawn criticism before. In 2010, a three-minute video entitled Gap Yah went viral in which actor Matt Lacey satirised people “who seem to be leaving these shores to vomit all over the developing world

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About Paul Champion

Some have called me a leader, and a entrepreneur, they say I have integrity, presence and skills to ensure continuous improvement and success in whatever challenges I face. They also tell me that I am positive, resilient and motivating. I say, I'm just a normaI guy from Gateshead in the North of England, who started as an apprentice engineer. I have been in the right place at the right time and in the wrong place at the wrong time! I have successfully initiated and led complex organizations and situations to completion and success, and I have been in some jobs where success seemed untouchable. Mainly though, I have tried to learn everyday, help people to progress and learn the skills they need to be successful. I have had the privilege of working with some great people locally across the UK and more recently internationally in Asia, Europe and now USA, where I am lucky enough to work for www.3aaa.co.uk where I am head of 3aaa USA. This website is just me having an outlet to talk about all those thoughts, ideas and things I learn that pass through my head every day when I face the challenge of doing business. I will also rant on about how great apprenticeships are, and how you can help change peoples lives through them. After all thats how I got to do the great things that I have done, and also I am still an apprentice everyday! All I ask is that if you find it interesting then leave a comment and share what you read. THANK YOU.

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