Enactus & Citi: Student Experience
This year Enactus & Citi Ireland launched a programme ‘Pathways to Progress’. This programme supports third level students to create projects that empower disadvantaged youths in urban areas aged 16-24. On April 13th, we welcomed all teams in the Citi programme to the final showcase event in Citi HQ. A huge well done to all teams who took part in this years programme. Catherine Hallinan from Enactus UL and Colin McAndrew share with us their experience of the final showcase and their favourite part of the programme!
Catherine Hallinan – Enactus UL
‘We were very excited when we were welcomed on to the Citi programme as we saw how we could gain a valuable experience and help in the growth of our project “SparkEd” here in Enactus UL.
We started with a Citi training weekend in last November, during this, we brainstormed on how we could develop our projects and conducted a needs assessment. This was very helpful for us in understanding the future of our project. Citi Ireland then gave us the opportunity to pitch for seed funding in front of senior members of the bank, proving to be instrumental in the development of our project enabling it to further expand.
In February, we returned to Citi Ireland for our second training day where we worked alongside our Citi mentor in defining goals and developing ideas. Our Citi mentor was a major factor in how our project expanded offering support and advice in every step of our journey.
My highlight of the Pathways to Progress program was on the 13th of April, the final day of the Enactus Citi ‘Pathways to Progress’ program. Nerves were mounting as we prepared to present how we had used the funding from November and what we would do with the further investment. It was inspiring to hear how all of the teams have developed throughout the year and the work that they have done. My team and I were thrilled to receive first place with €3,000 but were absolutely blown away with the phenomenal work that has been done since November by all teams.
The benefits of being involved in the Citi program were immense. Firstly, having a Citi mentor, who gave us advice and support along the past few months. We found it really helpful to have a specific mentor for our project with their advice proved priceless, allowing our project to develop beyond our expectations. Secondly, the generosity of Citi Ireland in giving seed funding to enable projects to grow in the program. This proved of be the main factor as to why the projects participating have grown to what they are today and will continue to grow in the future. Finally, the extra training days and activities were also beneficial to our team giving us an opportunity to evaluate our project and see where we could develop.
The entire “Pathways to Progress” program was certainly beneficial and one of my main highlights this year in Enactus UL.’
Colin McAndrew – Enactus MU
‘In Enactus MU, we were delighted when our project Map the Way was accepted onto the ‘Pathways to Progress’ programme, a new partnership between Enactus & Citi Ireland. As a new Enactus member, I was really looking forward to all of the opportunities afforded to us to expand and build our project.
Firstly, from a project point of view, it was extremely beneficial to be a part of this programme. We received much needed funding to expand and develop our project. Along with this, the mentorship and guidance we received from our mentor was invaluable. There were so many fantastic suggestions given to us, that we have since begun implementing. For example, we have since learned about the CoderDojo model and have even taught coders how to map! During the pitching part of the programme, the judges posed interesting questions that made us think of new and exciting possibilities for our project and helped us develop and improve our presentation skills.
Secondly, from a team point of view, this was my first year in Enactus and I didn’t really know anyone on the team. However, the Citi programme provided us with so many opportunities to work together. As a team we conducted our needs assessment, developed our business model canvas and delivered presentations! This also allowed us to identify the strengths in our group which played to our advantage when having to develop things such as powerpoint slides and pitching our projects.
My highlight of the programme was on February 2nd, when Andrew Keogh from Aristo delivered a pitching workshop to all teams. This was really interest but very engaging for all of us as Andrew highlighted various techniques that we can use to draw our listeners in, something I never would have known if I wasn’t participating in the Citi programme. We were then given time to perfect our own pitch and Andrew listened to all project teams and providing guidance and tips on how to improve. It was a fantastic experience and it will be something I will always refer to when doing a presentation at college or National Competition!
On behalf of the Enactus Maynooth Map the Way team, I would like to sincerely thank Citi Ireland and all involved in the Pathways to Progress programme for such an excellent and empowering opportunity.’
A huge thank you to our partner Citi Ireland for hosting all three training events this year. We are looking forward to empowering more students to develop projects and create lasting impacts in our community.