“Before I started on the Eagles graduate development programme at Broadgate, I had an image of what the corporate world would be like and it’s so different to that – in a really good way.”
As told by Kenneila Quashie, Eagles Graduate and Assistant Duty Manager at Broadgate:
In my head, the corporate world was people in suits, sitting at their desks all day with strict 9-5 working hours. Then I joined the Broadgate retail team on a six-month, paid graduate development programme and discovered how every day is different.
I am now a full-time team member, constantly out and about, visiting retailers, seeing how things are going on the campus, holding fire evacuation drills, collecting statutory compliance documents and organising events. The campus itself is ever changing too, with different events, art and decorations. There’s always something new.
When I graduated from University in July 2016 with a Politics degree, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but after nine months working in a pub I was sure that I needed something that stretched my brain. I applied for a place on the Eagles programme and they clearly saw something in me that was worthwhile. They gave me the chance to prove what I was capable of and, as a result, I’ve achieved things I never thought I could.
The Eagles programme has boosted my confidence a lot and taken me out of my shell. The ELBA team who ran it gave a lot of care and attention to all the people who went through. The training provided was outstanding and we met with many different professionals working in property and retail sector, finding out about what their roles involved, so we had a holistic overview.
The range of skills I learnt on the programme I will remember forever – public speaking with the National Theatre, extensive training in Excel, Word and letter writing, legal training, help with interview preparation, property management and a residential course at Ashridge Business School. I can’t believe how much they covered in two weeks. They did recall days for additional training too.
From the moment I arrived at Broadgate, I was treated as a member of the team. My manager Mark Collins has been very supportive and made sure that I was comfortable. He ensured that I was aware of all the available training opportunities. After my induction, I collated the database of retail occupiers across the campus and collected health and safety certification.
More recently, I helped to set up a secret diner survey with HGEM, getting feedback on everything from customer service and the welcome experience, to website and signage. This gives us useful insights to share with restaurant managers during our one-to-one meetings, identifying opportunities to improve. The average score first time round was 89%, which is very strong, but we will be achieving a higher percentage next time round.
In addition to Broadgate Estates, there are other great companies in the City involved in Eagles and I hope that more continue to join. It’s brilliant for any business looking for talented, skilled graduates who have the training to perform. The selection process is rigorous and the training they go through is very intense. It’s a really worthwhile initiative.
If I was talking to another young person considering Eagles, I would say: “go for it and never look back! Even if you don’t get a job directly, the experience will boost your potential.” I would encourage them to believe in themselves and grab onto opportunities like Eagles. Whether they’re clear about their career path or not, learning skills helps people come out on top.
As for me, I’m excited about the future, starting my Facilities Management course level 3 in the coming year and excited about plenty more opportunities to develop.