Phil Bagguley, Bank of America – Director, Research Analyst

What made you decide to volunteer with ReachOut?
A friend at the bank encouraged me to find an organisation where I could share my work journey with, and provide encouragement to, young people.

What has your mentoring experience been like?
It’s been a rich experience on a number of levels and was both challenging and fulfilling. I’ve had to communicate effectively and consider very different perspectives from those I am typically used to.  I’ve needed to focus on showing empathy and being confident. I’ve been rewarded by the engagement and enthusiasm of the young people I have mentored.

What have been the most rewarding aspects of working with young people and volunteering with ReachOut?
The reward is in the results – seeing those we mentored grow in confidence, and develop their outlook and ambitions.

Is there anything you found challenging/difficult in your mentoring role?
Initially, it took me time to consider the right approaches to best engage the young people in the program. The mentees had very different perspectives of the world, and harnessing their original ideas to the goals of the programme was a new challenge for me.  Encouraging one of the mentees to be punctual was a particular challenge – but one that we overcame successfully.

Do you think that volunteering has helped you develop new skills?
Working with ReachOut definitely improved my confidence, and helped me develop more effective interpersonal communication skills.  Understanding the different ways people learn and become engaged, was a very challenging – but rewarding – experience.

Do you think it is important that employees are encouraged to volunteer in the local community?
I think the skills employees develop through volunteering are of great benefit both to the employee and the organisation. Employee engagement also helps support Bank of America’s common purpose – to make financial lives better through the power of every connection.  By providing social leadership, we help develop communities and foster economic mobility.

What have you learned from your overall experience? Do you think it has changed your outlook in any way?
I developed communication skills and the programme helped to improve my confidence.

I gained new perspectives on the challenges and opportunities young people in our community face.  I enjoyed working with the young people in the programme. It was great to see their boundless energy!

What do you think you are bringing back into the workplace as a result of your volunteering experience?
I am putting my improved communication skills to good use. I find it easier to present in front of groups of colleagues and clients. I bring my enthusiasm and advocacy for volunteering back to my team and have shared the benefits of getting involved.

Does Phil's story inspire you to become a mentor too? Click here to sign up!