Match Game: Lloyds Bank and New Frontier Continue Mentorship Program
Since 2017, volunteers from Lloyds Bank have partnered with the Birch Family Services New Frontier program to provide valuable interviewing skills and workplace-readiness advice to young adults with autism and developmental disabilities.
Through the Birch/Lloyds Bank Mentoring Program, mentors provide resume advice and valuable insights into how to navigate a corporate culture. By engaging with a mentor, New Frontier participants take ownership of their careers and create opportunities to maximize their potential. In return, participants commit to two 1:1 meetings with their mentors in a corporate setting, be prepared for mock interviews, follow through on agreed actions, and provide updates to mentors on live job interviews. They must be prepared to be open and honest in their conversations and communicate their goals, interests, and challenges as well as open to constructive feedback. While the mentors don’t provide employment, they do share useful advice and reinforce the skills necessary for mentees to take the next step of scheduling real-life job interviews.
“I would say I see it as a new journey and a new chapter. I’ve always felt like if I try I can get into new experiences.” – Kasean, a New Frontier participant.
“The program sounds exciting,” said Kasean, a New Frontier participant supported by Birch Family Services. “I would say I see it as a new journey and a new chapter. I’ve always felt like if I try I can get into new experiences.”
Last week, mentors from Lloyds Bank were onsite at Birch’s Administrative Offices to meet New Frontier participants for the start of a new cycle of mentorships. As an ice breaking exercise, New Frontier participants and prospective mentors from Lloyds Bank participated in a Speed Networking exercise were everyone was seated across from someone else with just three minutes to figure out two things they have in common or two ways they could help each other. Just like Speed Dating, the exercise was repeated several times until every participant had a chance to speak with a prospective Lloyds Bank mentor and, hopefully, make a match.
“I am excited to work with Benjamin, who will be my third Birch mentee, and look forward to watching him grow in confidence and workplace readiness through regular mock interviews.” – Norman Scott, Head of Large Corporate Credit at Lloyds Bank.
“The Birch/Lloyds Bank Mentoring Program is an exceptionally rewarding experience for all involved,” Norman Scott, Head of Large Corporate Credit at Lloyds Bank. “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to help mentees on their journey into the workforce, building lasting relationships, and using my knowledge and experience to help prepare the mentees for real life interview situations. I am excited to work with Benjamin, who will be my third Birch mentee, and look forward to watching him grow in confidence and workplace readiness through regular mock interviews. By working closely with the Birch coaches, I’m confident this program will prove highly successful for the mentees as it has in previous years.”
Lloyds Bank also is a founding partner of the Birch Family Services Corporate Advisory Network (CAN). Committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion in the workplace for individuals with autism and developmental disabilities, CAN serves as an advisory body and strategic partner committed to sharing best practices, expertise, and opportunities that will help facilitate employment and internship opportunities for individuals.
“Lloyds Bank is a prominent financial services group whose mission is to help people, communities, and businesses, and that’s precisely what they’ve done for Birch,” said Ludovica Alcorn, Employment Specialist Manager, New Frontier. “Lloyds Bank mentors continue to work with New Frontier jobseekers in providing fresh insights into how to enter and navigate the workforce while building lasting professional connections.”
Through New Frontier, Birch Family Services provides adults with autism and developmental disabilities with vocational preparation, job acquisition, and ongoing employer and employee support so they can thrive in both their job search and their chosen careers. Our staff helps participants develop the skills needed to communicate appropriately and understand group social dynamics. Experience shows that people with disabilities and the companies that employ them require a flexible process designed to personalize their relationship in a manner that meets the needs of both parties. New Frontier staff ensures a collaborative partnership among employee and employers so that the needs of both parties are met.