Uni Genius 2022 to 2023

by Generating Genius
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Uni Genius 2022 to 2023
Uni Genius 2022 to 2023
Uni Genius 2022 to 2023

The highlight of this month's programme activities for ages 13-18 has been year one of the Year 10 Pay it Forward programme continuing with more mentoring sessions and STEM Masterclasses at Westwood Academy in Coventry, Durham Federation in Durham and Dukes Academy in Northumberland. The programme has now finished for year one and the students have the option to do top up mentoring in the summer holidays before year 2 of the programme, which is Career Development and Employability Skills workshops. 

It is clear from the feedback, both written, videos, and in classroom discussions, that we have received from students, mentors and teachers on Pay it Forward, the positive impact the programme is having on students' career knowledge and increased self-confidence and motivation to reach their full potential. Teachers have pointed out that this kind of programme, where students get one to one support from a mentor, to discuss career options in relation to their post-16 options, as well as showcasing STEM and engaging via our hands on practical STEM Masterclasses, is most beneficial. Mentors have highlighted mentees being more aware of what career options they can go into and how to get into them through doing research homework tasks as part of the mentoring and discussions they have in the sessions, as well as improvements in self-confidence after discussions when students gain more of an understanding of the skills and abilities they have. Students have expressed at the end, whilst packing up, that they can’t wait for the next mentoring session and some students have said that this is one of the most interesting and useful things they have done. 

The highlights of this march’s programmes for university students have been from the mentoring programmes and the Sky Internship programme. We concluded 6 months of mentoring on the Black Women into Tech PDT Partners programme with some fantastic presentations done by the six mentees about their time on the programme.


I would like to share a lovely write up by Oriel College about the STEM@Oxford Programme we are running with them. The write up focuses on the February launch event held at the House of Lords. The students were privileged to have the provost of Oriel College, Lord Neil Mendoza in attendance and providing advice during the workshops. Please read here - https://www.oriel.ox.ac.uk/news/oriel-renews-partnership-with-generating-genius-on-stemoxford-programme/



We are so pleased with the progress as well the enjoyment the year 10 students have had on the Pay it Forward Programme this month.  We had a fantastic final set of mentoring sessions and STEM Masterclasses for Westwood Academy in Coventry, Durham Federation in Durham and Dukes Academy in Northumberland. The majority of students from these schools said the STEM Masterclasses were their favourite part of the programme. Feedback around it being fun and interactive, and more interactive than school lessons, were some of the key points given by these students. Many of the students said their mentoring sessions have helped them with thinking more widely about what options they can go into in their careers and found it useful for finding work experience, with most saying they did not know about the work experience programmes the programme has told them about and developing a CV. 


We had a great  Spring Week Programme this month for the 57 students on this programme. This 3-day insight and preparation programme provides students, through insight talks and workshops, with an insight into the following departments in National Grid - Finance/Commercial, Engineering and Technology. Students will also have employability skills workshops in career options, CV writing and interview practice. On the last day of the programme students will have a mock assessment centre task to complete. They will have to produce a financial plan that will form part of the broader business case to Ofgem in order to secure the appropriate funding to enable National Grid to meet its Net Zero commitments. 

Following the Spring Insight programme the students were  offered the opportunity to interview for 2-week paid work experience placements. We have 30 placements available this year for students across different departments in National Grid. All students are also given the opportunity to have a one to one application preparation mentor from National Grid starting from June until the end of September to help them prepare for graduate, placement and internship applications at National Grid and other companies. We have found in the past that the mentoring on this programme compliments the Spring Week as it can build on the skills and knowledge they have learnt from this and go further by providing more tailored one to one support over 16 weeks for each individual student. This will be our third time doing this programme and students in the past have got brilliant jobs at companies including National Grid, Centrica, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and BP.  

Further donations would help to increase this valuable work. We are truly ground-breaking in vision and effort.




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This quarter we have had a great mix of both in-person and virtual programme activity, as well as some fantastic invitations to speak at conferences, at our partner companies and at the House of Commons. The House of Commons event was a reception and “share and learn”, entitled ‘Levelling up for Real’. This was hosted by the Manchester based UA92 University, founded by footballer Gary Neville, Labour MP for Stretford and Urmston, Kate Green and Conservative MP for Altrincham and Sale, Sir Graham Brady. 

On the programme activity side, a highlight for me was facilitating the Interview Preparation Study Bubble Day for those applying to Oxford and Cambridge. This was a great day of practising mock interview questions and preparing model answers for those questions. Another highlight for our university students has been participating in the October Get Ahead Programmes for our partner companies, in advance of them opening their Internship and Graduate Applications. Our Get Ahead programmes are on offer from July to October and we invite our students to attend as many as they wish in different industries. Companies this month included Legal and General Investment Management, which prepared students for Investment Management roles, and National Grid which assists students with application preparation via one-to-one mentoring. We have found that since launching these Get Ahead programmes in 2020, that many of our students have made successful applications to either the host company or to another company within the same industry. The Get Ahead Programmes can include a mock assessment centre task, a full mock assessment centre, insight talks about the company and industry, video interview practice and talks about each stage of the application process. This is then usually followed by one-to-one mentoring by partner companies.

 I would like to end this month's message by raising your attention to the issue of digital exclusion which I am sure many of you are already aware of. Many people are living in households where they have to share devices with multiple family members or where they cannot afford constant Wi-Fi or data connections to get online. This makes it very difficult for those students to complete school and university work, work experience, internship applications and many courses which are now virtual. We have worked with National Grid’s “Grid for Good” team to support those of our students who are in this situation. We would like to thank National Grid for their generous donation, to 28 Generating Genius students across the country. Many of these students’ families are from households where the  income is £20,000 or below and had to share devices. Please watch this video to see the impact this has made to those students. - Grid For Good & Generating Genius Laptop Donation Campaign - YouTube  We would also like to thank HSBC Digital Business Services who similarly provided  an additional 14 sixth form students on the HSBC Future Genius programme with laptops. Six of these students were on free school meals, and eight students came from households with an income of £20,000 or below. These students did not have their own laptops which were needed to engage in the online aspects of this programme and other year 12 Generating Genius programmes.

Following on from the Interview Preparation and pre-admission test workshops hosted by both Oriel College, Oxford, and St John's College, Cambridge, on both the STEM@Oxford and STEM@Cambridge programmes, we hosted the Student Study Bubbles Interview Preparation Day on Saturday, 29th October. This is where students from both programmes were placed into groups based on their subject or subject areas to practise interview questions, come with model answers and a plan as to how they will continue to prepare for their potential interviews. Many of the students when presenting their preparation plans, also included meeting their group again to go over questions. We wish all 26 of our students the best of luck as they wait to find out if they are invited to interview from Oxford or Cambridge.


57 students participated in this year's programme. This is our second year of running this with Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM). The programme is run slightly differently to other Get Ahead Programmes as it takes place over 3 evenings rather than two full days. The programme covers an Investment Management 101 workshop which goes over what investment management is. The second workshop is an Investment Management Case Study Deep Dive, where students explore different case studies in small groups with a representative from different investment teams at LGIM. The third workshop is run by an external careers coach provided by Generating Genius who provides students with CV and cover letter support, application tips, and also mock interview practice. The fourth workshop is Recruitment Process 101 which goes over the end-to-end process at LGIM and tips on how students can prepare for the different stages. Last year,17 of our students made applications and two students entered the business from the Get Ahead Programme. 

  Google and Generating Genius Software Engineering Mentoring 

We have 21 students, studying Computer Science, Physics, Maths and Engineering degrees, who are currently on our Google mentoring programme. This is the third year of this programme. The aim of the programme is to support students with applying to Google and other Technology companies for Technology Summer Internship roles. The students are given one-to-one mentoring from a Google Software Engineer. This programme has successfully seen 6 students enter Google for Summer Internships. This year's cohort began the programme in September and are two months into the sixth month programme and engaging well. We hope that this year's students will have similar success to previous cohorts.  Thank you to our Google software engineering mentors and the Google People team for all the hard work you are doing on this programme. 

We had the pleasure of hosting our Spring Week Launch Event on October 18th. This event is to prepare students for applying to Spring Week Programmes, including the one we run as part of our partnership with Grid for Good. We had 142 students in attendance at this virtual event. The Start your Career at National Grid Panel was one of the highlights, where students got to hear from two current graduates, on successful applications and what kinds of work you do on the graduate programme. The event also took students through how to prepare for the testing and interview process which are common parts of many Spring Week applications. We look forward to hosting another Spring Week in Engineering and Technology with Grid for Good this coming spring. 

Our penultimate and final year students enrolled on our Grid for Good Talent Development Pathway have completed their first month of the 12-week Application Preparation one-to-one mentoring. From the cohort of 19 students on this mentoring programme, three have already submitted applications for National Grid, whilst others are still finalising their CVs with support from their mentors. Good luck to all these students applying for Graduate and Internship roles with National Grid. 


The AKO Foundation is one of Generating Genius’s top sponsors and has supported 100 students on the 2-year STEM Future Leaders programme for sixth formers. Those students have gone on to some fantastic universities and degree apprenticeships. AKO Foundation has now committed to sponsoring students on the relaunching of our Junior Genius programme. This programme will be starting again in summer 2023. AKO Capital employees have also committed to supporting, through mentoring, our STEM@Cambridge programme for sixth formers, and our Black Women into Tech programme for university students. Thank you to the AKO Foundation for your continued support and to the wonderful AKO Capital employees for their volunteer time. 



We also spoke on a panel entitled, “How to make vocational education more inclusive” at the Federation of Awarding Bodies Conference in Leicester. This area is becoming more of a focus for us as we recognise the importance of our model being useful, not just for those who can aim for traditional university courses, but also for those who are more practical, rather than academic, so that they are guided and prepared for competitive applications in vocational courses. It is great that although a new offering for us, our work is already being acknowledged in this space. 


We also spoke on a panel entitled, “How to make vocational education more inclusive” at the Federation of Awarding Bodies Conference in Leicester. This area is becoming more of a focus for us as we recognise the importance of our model being useful, not just for those who can aim for traditional university courses, but also for those who are more practical, rather than academic, so that they are guided and prepared for competitive applications in vocational courses. It is great that although a new offering for us, our work is already being acknowledged in this space. 

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Both our year 12s and year 13s have now all completed their work experience programmes from our Generating Genius partners. It was a pleasure last week to receive some brilliant feedback from GHO Capital, HSBC and IRI on how wonderful and knowledgeable they were. Likewise, the feedback from the students has been the best to date and they have all valued the chance to be in the office and work on projects in person.

Our university students have continued to work hard at their summer internships and have been learning how to navigate the workplace. It has been great to receive such brilliant feedback from our partners who have Generating Genius students on how they are doing. 

We are looking forward to supporting our university students to prepare to apply for graduate jobs and summer internships this coming September, ahead of applications opening in Winter 2022 for Summer 2023, via our application preparation programmes. Thanks to Google, HSBC, National Grid and Legal & General for running these exclusive programmes for Generating Genius students, in partnership with us.

Finally, I would like to congratulate all of our STEM Future Leaders students who submitted an entry for the STEM Future Leaders Category Awards. This was the final programme activity on the STEM Future Leaders Programme. Thank you to the AKO Foundation for sponsoring the STEM Future Leaders Uni Genius programme, over the last 2 years. We had a wonderful evening listening to the speeches of the winners followed by networking with AKO Capital, Salesforce and BAI Communications. All the submissions were of an extremely high standard.  The students worked on a one-month project in either Engineering, Technology or Medicine. I would like to say a special congratulations to our winners in each category. 

Uni Genius Network Update

Work Experience with IRI Worldwide

Last week some of our Year 12 students embarked on a week-long work experience with IRI Worldwide, one of the original innovators in Big Data.

We kicked off the week at their brand-new offices in Bracknell which gave the students a taste of what working at IRI is like. The rest of our week was virtual with a full agenda of interactive insight workshops into the work of IRI as well as a group project for the students to get stuck into.  A staggering 23 IRI Volunteers shared their time and knowledge with the students throughout the week providing them a broader perspective on the company and what life is like working in Big Data. As well as sessions on Marketing and Media, the students gained invaluable soft skills which helped them with their final group project presentations at the end of the week. 

Thank you again to IRI Worldwide for an incredible week full of valuable content and unforgettable experiences - we are already looking forward to next year!

Work Experience with HSBC

The HSBC Future Genius summer work experience weeks were brilliant. We had 44 students from the programme participate over the two weeks. The students had a combination of employability skills workshops, networking and real work experience via a week-long project they were set. The HSBC teams were so impressed with the standard of the group projects on both the weeks that they are inviting the students back, in October half-term, to present to the HSBC senior leadership. Well done to our brilliant Future Genius Year 12s. Thank you to HSBC for this incredible work experience programme full of valuable content and unforgettable experiences. The students will return to HSBC’s offices in October and then again next summer for another summer work experience

Work experience with GHO Capital 

Our second year of doing work experience with GHO Capital is now complete. Our students had a wonderful time at this two-week, office-based, work experience. The students were working in both the Finance and Investments teams and did a combination of their own tasks and projects, some shadowing of meetings, and lots of networking. We look forward to a third year, next summer, of this wonderful work experience programme. 

Work experience with Coller Capital 

Coller Capital provided a very hands-on work experience where students were provided insight through a group project supported by the teams at Coller Capital into how you decide on making an investment in a private company. The students also had a wonderful networking lunch with Coller Capital employees and the feedback on the questions asked by them from Coller Capital representatives was great. They were impressed with the inquisitiveness of the questions asked around private equity. 


These are all students from the lowest income bracket in the UK.  Yet we continue to give them the best platform to succeed.  GlobalGiving has enabled us to work with these fantastic partners through funding our Uni-Genius programme.

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It’s been a great period at Generating Genius. We can safely say that we are one of the best and biggest platform programmes for low income students into Science and Technology, in the world.  This has happened because GlobalGiving partners have been so generous with their donations from companies to individuals. The answer to social disparities is to give young people the skills for the future. We Know that qualifications in any STEM (Science Technology  Engineering and Maths)  area will give certain social mobility. 


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We had a brilliant set of both in-person and virtual programme activity this month. There is nothing quite like seeing our students interact and engage with our partner companies and universities in person on our programmes. The buzz of knowledge sharing, presentations delivered by students, group problem solving and networking was brilliant and exciting throughout the Easter holidays.

We have also continued to have some fantastic virtual programme activity this month with our Cambridge Academic Poster Competition Information Event, Oxbridge Application Parents Drop In event run by St John's College Cambridge, PDT Partners Black Women into Tech Mentoring Graduation and the GHO Capital Insight and Work Experience Preparation Talk.

This month’s Generating Genius team highlight was hosting 81 students for our first in-person programmes in London and Warwick as part of our Grid for Good Excel Programme with National Grid. In London we ran an Engineering Spring Week, and in Warwick a Sustainability one. The aim of these programmes is to provide our students with an early insight into the energy sector and practical preparation support for applying to internships and graduate programmes within it. The highlights from both programmes were seeing the students present their two-day challenge projects and watching them network with National Grid employees.

In London we had the continuation of our HSBC 5-year programme for our HSBC Future Genius students. It was brilliant to see the students engage in the workshops on their 2-day Employability and Leadership Academy at the HSBC office in Canary Wharf. Many have fed back to us about how useful and practical the workshops were and that it exceeded their expectations. Also, in London we had the start of our Introduction to Private Equity Programme with Coller Capital for our Year 12 and Year 13 students. The students attended Insight Talks and Workshops on Private Equity as well as networking with Coller Capital colleagues. It was brilliant for me to see students learning about an industry that is often not that known about and can be hard to get work experience in, as well as also not seen as an obvious choice from those coming from STEM backgrounds. 

It has also been a month of successful outcomes once again for many of our students from confidence building, increased technical knowledge of industries and job offers. Some of these which I have witnessed are one Year 12 having the confidence to do a strong elevator pitch and thanking us for including employability and interview skills as part of the programme, and for another student  for  getting a job offer at THG and emailing me saying ‘I just wanted to say thank you very much for the experiences that you have provided with Generating Genius. It really changed my life’.

Our third cohort of the Pay it Forward programme came to a close in April, with Harris Academy, London receiving their final mentoring sessions. Students have been working for the past 12 weeks on their confidence, resilience and decision making, as well as working with our university ambassadors and industry partners to learn more about what it is like to work in a career in STEM. We are looking forward to seeing the students again in the second year of the programme where we will facilitate soft skills workshops to further improve their employability and decision-making skills.

Planning is well underway for the first mentoring session at Durham Federation, Durham in May. We have 13 mentors signed up from a range of companies and universities to support students from the North East to discover more about further education and a career in STEM.  

Our 50 “Year 12” students on the Future Genius programme took part in a 2-day Soft Skills and Leadership Academy at HSBC headquarters in Canary Wharf. They were lucky enough to have the opportunity to network with senior stakeholders and learn from their experiences as leaders. 

Students not only grew in confidence over the 2 days, but learned more about interview skills where they were able to put their newfound skills to the test in a mock interview. 

We are really looking forward to the next Future Genius summer events including work experience and a University Preparation Day.



April has been a busy and exciting month for the Grid for Good team with two hybrid Spring Insight Weeks with National Grid, with one in-person day and 2 virtual days. We kicked off our Engineering Spring Insight Week in London where we facilitated career panels, insight talks, networking sessions and more with 15 National Grid volunteers and 36 university student participants.

This was our first ever face-to-face Grid for Good event and we loved every minute of it! The following week our in-person day was on National Grid soil at Warwick HQ where the students got a glimpse into office life. We made the most of the in-person format by running an elevator pitch workshop and a huge networking session with over 30 National Grid volunteers across both events. 

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Our 2022 New Year’s Resolution at Generating Genius is to ensure that by the end of  year  we have reached more students and geographies across the country who are most in need of our programmes. We will be sharing our strategy as to how we will do this later on this year. The year is already off to a good start with events, as part of our programmes, in Stoke on Trent, Birmingham, London and online. A particular highlight for myself, was last week in London, attending a Blood Analysis workshop with Year 11 students. The engagement, enthusiasm and healthy competition during the workshop was a great way to remind myself, at the beginning of the year, of why we do what we do. 


It is great to be able to start the year with the renewal of what were new programmes last year. It is brilliant news that we had the formal launch event on the 26th January of the Black Women into Tech Programme 2022. We were able to do this thanks to our sponsors who agreed to support for a second year running. I would like to thank our sponsors PDT Partners who are our Headline and Gold sponsor of Black Women into Tech, as well as our other sponsors HSBC, IRI, Medallia and MAN Group. We are also very pleased to have launched the second cohort of the STEM@Cambridge programme this week. STEM@Cambridge is run in partnership with St John's College at the University of Cambridge. 

Our students' hard work is paying off with our partner companies too. 


 Looking ahead to next month, a key highlight we are looking forward to over half-term is finally getting our Year 12 students in person to Oxford and Cambridge as part of our STEM@Oxford and STEM@Cambridge programmes, run in partnership with St Johns, Cambridge and Oriel College, Oxford. This is happening in February. Eighty (80) students, along with parents and carers, will be going to Cambridge. Students will be doing STEM Masterclasses and having an Application Process and Personal Statement Preparation Workshop. Parents will be having information workshops on supporting their young person to choose the right degree in relation to career prospects, key milestones in the Cambridge preparation process, as well as Cambridge Financial Support and Scholarships. Similarly, at Oxford, 34 students will be doing STEM Masterclasses and an Application Process and Personal Statement Preparation Workshop. 

Black Women Into Tech 2022 has launched!
On Wednesday, 26th January we had the incredibly successful launch of our Black Women into Tech 2022 programme. It was an exciting night with the new cohort of students welcomed onto the programme by students from the 2021 cohort,


Mentoring programme 

It's been a busy time in Mentoring. We have lots of exciting and amazing events happening this month and on the horizon.
Firstly, we have the launch of the 2022 Black Women into Tech programme! Out of 120 applicants, 50 lucky mentees were chosen to participate in the mentoring programme. Students will be mentored by leading experts from HSBC, IRI, MAN Group, Medallia and more top tech companies. The inspiring launch took place on Wednesday, 26th January!
At the other end of the spectrum, we have the first cohort of our amazing Grid for Good mentoring programme coming to an end after a very successful programme. Here is what a couple of the participants had to say:
“I've really been enjoying the program. I've found it really helpful since my mentor did a physics degree, which is what I'm doing, and she's been helping me get my CV, LinkedIn and interview skills ready for a jobs fair that I'm going to attend in March for the Space industry. So overall I've found it very beneficial. We still have a couple of sessions left, but so far it's been great.”
Grid for Good Mentee
Studies Physics at the University of Leicester
“The experience so far has been amazing. So well organised at your end so thank you!  My mentor is super bright. We’ve had 2 sessions already and I’m in the process of trying to line up an internship for her next year. Looking forward to our remaining sessions.”
Grid for Good Mentor
Our Google and Virtu programmes are now at the halfway point and have been going very well. Here are what some of the participants have to say so far:
“The mentoring sessions are going well and I'm finding them really useful, we've been talking through each of the points in detail and feeding back areas to practice and improve as well as more general advice on careers, software engineering, and more specifically work-life at Google and other tech businesses”
Google Mentee
Studies Computer Science at University of Birmingham
“The programme has been really good so far; my mentor has helped me with interview questions and with coding which has really been beneficial. I have secured a placement at IBM and questions we went over I was asked so I was so glad I had that extra practice!”
Google Mentee
Studies Computer Science (Cyber Security) at University of Kent


Our ambition is to double the number of students we reach with our Menetoring programme. 

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Generating Genius

Location: London - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @generatingg
Project Leader:
Zindzi Sewell
London , United Kingdom
$46,153 raised of $62,200 goal
667 donations
$16,047 to go
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