Tom Tesfay joins the Arrival team as Talent Development Executive

We caught up with our newest recruit, Tom Tesfay, to find out more about his passion for social mobility, why he chose AE and his excellent choice in TV…

Tell us why you applied to AE?

I have been a participant on 2 programmes run by AE, so I have first-hand experience of the organisation from the talent perspective. I saw the high level of care, the authenticity and the quality of work that goes into the programmes and I wanted to be a part of that.

I also saw an opportunity to learn. Eventually, I want to run a business and I realise I need to grow my skill sets to be equipped to handle this. There was an opportunity here to learn this from everyone involved which I thought would amazing.

Also, AE changed things for me and I wanted to help others do the same.

Why do you think the work we do at AE is important?

I think social mobility isn’t addressed as much as it should be. And when it is, it rarely delivers a deeper level of experience. Coming from a state school in London, I was a part of loads of schemes but they all felt like they were solely taster days into uni and degree courses.

They weren’t giving you hands-on skills, unlike AE’s programmes. They were all surface level.

AE wants to know about you and they ask you about your aspirations. They want you to grow and ask why, as well as how, they can help you get closer to your goals.

Five of my friends have also been involved with AE and had similar experiences. More young people and businesses should have access to this.

What are you up to when you’re not working?

I’m pretty big on self-development. If I’m not at work or at uni, I’m reading a lot or attending a course. I just started a course of financial modelling.

Outside of work I study part-time for my undergraduate degree in Economics, at the Open University. I chose the Open University because I wanted to work alongside. I knew I wanted to develop soft skills and grow my network whilst studying.

I’m currently trying to re-establish at the entrepreneur society, at uni. There’s nearly 200 members, however, there’s no active engagement or activities for the members to be a part of, which I think is a shame. I hope to change that and have taken an interim role as President to re-develop the foundations, launching a range of new content and programmes in the new academic year.

I’m also a bit of movie junkie! I love inspirational and entrepreneurial movies about people who have overcome adversity to achieve great things. I’m also a sucker for SciFi, Superhero and Vampire movies. Spending time with friends and family is important to me too.

If you could have a 1:2:1 with anyone living or dead, who would it be?

Jimmy Iovine. I watched the Defiant Ones (documentary series on Netflix) recently and I was amazed by his wealth of knowledge and the journey he went on, from sound producer into business exec. He has developed incredible skillsets, as well as knowledge and intuition. To be able to find out his take on all that would be incredible!


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