Sport 4 Life UK Employability Mentor, Hannah Kaur and Joe Kahighi, along with four young people from our services, attended this year’s streetfootballworld festival in Lyon, France.

The event brings together disadvantaged young people from across the globe to champion football’s unique power in helping to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.

Hannah and Joe were taken on an inspiring ten-day journey of cross-cultural exchange, empowering girls and young women to take on leadership roles in their communities and raise awareness for the collective need of an equal game for an equal world.

The festival brought 304 participants, from 48 organisations and 35 countries together to play football, further develop their skills and promote actions on women’s rights and female empowerment.

Interview preparation

Throughout the activities on Monday, Kevin gradually came out of his shell, and by the afternoon he whole-heartedly threw himself into the team building and communication-based challenges. During the afternoon’s activity on the S.T.A.R model (which is a method used to structure competency-based interview questions), Kevin provided some fantastic answers and helped other attendees structure their answers. 

Kevin carried this willingness to learn/engage in Suited for Success on Tuesday. Corporate volunteers from Wesleyan were on hand to act as interviewers in a speed interview format. They asked a wide array of questions – from predictable interview questions about the young people’s strengths/weaknesses to more left-field questions such as ‘if you were a biscuit, what biscuit would you be and why?’! The volunteers provided valuable feedback on the answers the young people gave, and the atmosphere was very positive, and the conversation was flowing between everyone – so much so the session ran over by 45 minutes! 

When Kevin was dressed in the afternoon (in a very smart suit with a floral tie to match!) he said he had learnt so much in the last two days and although he felt nervous for his mock interview the next day at Balfour Beatty Vinci, he felt prepared too. 


The interview

Along came Wednesday and Kevin’s interview at Balfour Beatty Vinci at 9 am. 

Kevin couldn’t have had a worse start to the day – he got on the wrong bus, got soaked to the bone from torrential rain (he arrived without a coat!) and even sat in chewing gum! He arrived 10 minutes late, but he didn’t let this affect his determination. After the interview was over Kevin was called in for feedback from Matthew and Simon who gave him a run-down of their impression of him – they were very impressed with his answers, and they could tell he had prepared well. In fact, they were so impressed with Kevin they asked him if he would like to return for a real interview in early 2020 for the position of a data scientist on one of the Balfour Beatty Vinci’s teams working on HS2! 

Kevin was thoroughly pleased with this achievement, and I was very proud to see such a marked difference in his self-esteem and confidence from when I first met him on Monday! 

Kevin was sent the job description last week, and with the support of his mentor, Lincoln is now in touch with the guys at BBV who are arranging a date in January for his interview. Well done to Kevin and good luck for January – watch this space!