A flashback at the Enactus & Citi FDN Pathways to Progress Programme
We spoke to Liam from Understanding Le Chéile, Kara from SparkED and Jack from Moyo Nua following their success in the Enactus & Citi FDN Pathways to Progress Programme to recap on their experience over the past couple of months.
Liam Oxley - Understanding Le Chéile, Enactus NUIG
In November and February, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Citi Pathways to Progress Showcase. The programme gave many opportunities to breakdown, analyse and improve our project ‘Understanding Le Chéile’ with the help of many innovation, marketing, finance and public relations professionals. The skills and knowledge acquired at the training days has helped our project grow and expand greatly and as well it has given me the skills and tools to progress in my professional life. The training days were very useful as members of the Innovation Lab introduced us to design thinking where we had to break down our project and figure out who our target market is through customer profiling, needs assessment, service design and much more. This was excellent help in enabling us to realise what our ultimate goal was and how we were going to reach it. The mentors who worked on our project individually with us were fantastic and their advice proved invaluable to us.
My favourite part about Citi’s Pathway to Progress Programme was the exceptional individual help that was given to us in one-on-one sessions with our mentor and with the Innovation Lab members. These incredible people helped us with the ‘nitty gritty’ details and problems in our project and how we can work on them. How can I forget all the fantastic merchandise we were given at the start of each training session also.
Coming first place in the Dragon’s Den competition last Friday was surreal. We believe this would have not been made possible without the support and guidance from everyone at Citi and Enactus Ireland. The team is so thrilled and excited to grow Understanding Le Chéile even more, over the coming weeks with thanks to the €3,000 in seed funding. We have all learned so much from Pathways to Progress and for that we are very thankful and forever grateful to have been given the opportunity to partake in this amazing programme.
Advice which I would give to future attendees of the training days would be: 1) Take Notes – These people really know what they’re talking about and the advice and information they provide will most certainly prove invaluable to you and your project. 2) Ask Questions – Make sure to stick your hand up and keep asking questions, that’s what the mentors and everyone else is there for. They won’t be able to cover everything so make sure to get your personal questions answered. 3) Network – In that room with you are the future business leaders of tomorrow so make sure reach out and talk to people, you don’t know what friends you will make.
Kara Gilleran - Spark ED, Enactus UL
My experience with Enactus Ireland has been a wonderful learning experience both intellectually and personally. This was my first year joining Enactus and so I was nervous, however I soon came to discover a group of like minded students in the University of Limerick and beyond that I am happy to call my friends. As co-project leader with the wonderful Catriona O’Halloran we have seen our project “Spark Ed” progress to the next level with the help of all our mentors and peers at Enactus Ireland.
Spark Ed is a youth leadership program that aims to give transition year students the tools to become a leader in their lives and in their community. We achieve this by running workshops in schools and teaching students about communication skills, decision making, teamwork and interview skills was the most rewarding part of the experience. Furthermore, seeing them put these skills into action by volunteering in their communities was extremely gratifying.
Another highlight of mine was attending the Citi Pathways to Progress training days in the headquarters in Dublin. We were given invaluable tools at these workshops on how to take our projects to new heights. Undoubtably, all the help and guidance Spark Ed received from both Enactus Ireland/University of Limerick and Citi led to our placing second in the Pathways to Progress Showcase. This was a major goal of ours and has given us confidence ahead of the National Competition. Of all the wonderful experiences, seeing the hard work of the Spark Ed family come to flourish has been the most rewarding. We started the academic year with only five members and have almost tripled our numbers. We have partnered with amazing companies such as UBER, Nexus and the University of Limerick Law Department. I am filled with pride in the knowledge that Spark Ed has been improving lives little by little every day for over three years and will continue to do so.
Jack O’Connor - Moyo Nua, Enactus UL
Having Moyo Nua accepted into the Citi Pathways to Progress initiative in our first year of operation was an honour. Once we were accepted, we hoped for a fantastic year of collaboration with Citi; and we received exactly that! Having the ability to work with Citi proved crucial in developing Moyo Nua from idea generation, to implementation stages.
The initial funding of €840 was vital in allowing us to get off the ground, we wouldn’t be where we are today without it. It was excellent to participate in the multiple training days that Citi hosted and working with the team in Citi allowed us to craft innovative solutions to problems that we were experiencing. Our Citi advisers were always on-hand to lend any advice or support that we needed; even down to minding the planter for a week! We were extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated support system from Citi to assist us in our needs for Moyo Nua.
Presenting our work to-date with Moyo Nua at the Citi Pathways to Progress Showcase event was a great celebration of the work that we, and every other project in the initiative, have accomplished thus far. We were thrilled to place third in the overall competition with Citi; and are beyond delighted for Understanding Le Chéile and SparkED for placing, and for every other team that participated in the event!