Seven years on: Arrival & Kerry Foods' Coaching Programme
Back in 2008, Christina was selected for Arrival Education's ground breaking 4-year social mobility programme, Success for Life. After 2 years of attending core workshops on topics such as Integrity, Self-Awareness and Teamwork, Christina had the chance to apply for a coach with one of AE's corporate partners, Kerry Foods. It was here Christina was partnered with David Hamilton, Kerry’s Chief Innovation Officer, for the 9-month development programme.
Initially, the coaching dynamic was new and foreign to both David and Christina: “There were few successful role models in my community, so this was the first time I saw and interacted with someone that was successful in the full sense of the word. I was slightly intimidated at first, and kept asking myself why this successful white man, who had no clue about my life or background would want to see this through”.
Over the course of the programme, as Christina started to make important decisions about her future, David became a great supporter and valuable mentor: “David was so invested in my success, I was amazed. My values, and what was important to me, became important to him”.
The partnership carried on long after the 9-month commitment, all the way through Christina’s school and university career. When it came time for Christina to apply for jobs David carried on offering his guidance as she considered a number of opportunities, including a role at Kerry Foods: “I kept an open dialogue with David regarding my plans after university. Prior the coaching programme I was not familiar with Kerry Foods, but when it came to applying for jobs, I knew it would be a good company to apply for. Over the course of the programme and our coaching relationship, I began to understand and appreciate the values David embodied – curiosity, integrity, challenging the status quo – which were similar to my own. Because of this, I knew that Kerry Foods would represent these as well.”
In 2016, 5 years after first working with Kerry Foods, Christina started joined the company as a HR Assistant: “The culture at Kerry was unique. There was a real sense that people cared and were at the heart of the business. It was a great start to my career. I was involved in a number of projects and campaigns that enabled my development, one of which was working on establishing the company’s employer brand, which won a prestigious industry award!”
This year, after 2 years with Kerry, Christina decided it was time for her next career move, and when making her decision about what next, Christina is grateful to Kerry for helping her understand what is important in an employer: “They’ve really set the bar for all companies I’m considering”.
Christina, who still meets with David regularly, is now working for Deloitte LLP.
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