How to become a corporate social responsibility coordinator: Ben's story

Meet Ben, 21, from Cheltenham, a corporate social responsibility coordinator for St. James’s Place Wealth Management. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

Ben with his arms folded smiling at the camera
"I was put in this department based on my passions and it has worked out really well, because I enjoy it and am really interested in the work that we are doing."

What is your job?

The department I work in ensures that the social, economic and environmental impact of our business is responsibly managed. We coordinate volunteering activities for our staff, with the ambition to change lives. I manage my own projects and meet with lots of people from around the business. I do presentations and awareness-raising of the work that we do for our wider community.

What skills do you use in your work?

I use communication. I talk on the phone, write emails and I do presentations for various audiences. I project-manage and assist others on larger business-wide initiatives. I also use mathematics for calculating various statistics for our annual reports. Other soft skills I use include working in a team and managing my time and diary effectively.

What subjects did you study?

At GCSE I did Geography, Product Design, French, Russian and ICT as well as the usual subjects like Maths and Science. I did A-levels in Maths, Economics and Geography. From there I went to university to do Human Geography, but I dropped out after three months as I wasn’t enjoying it and I didn’t want to do it for three years. I came back home and had never heard of corporate responsibility until I applied for the apprenticeship at St. James's Place, a wealth management company. I spent a year in the department and worked towards a qualification. I have now completed that and am working full-time.

Was it a smooth ride?

Doing three months at university was quite daunting and scary as I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it for three years. I now look back on it as a really valuable time as it helped me realise what I wanted to do.

Ben sat in front of his desk at work
Ben in the office

Top tips

  • I would recommend that people follow their interests and passions. Employers look for passionate people, so do something that you love and it will all be okay.

  • Don’t underestimate apprenticeships. It may feel like you are an office junior, but at the end of your apprenticeship, it provides you with a really great set of skills that people at university wouldn’t have – definitely consider an apprenticeship!

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