Powerlist Foundation/Deloitte Leadership Programme 2014

The Powerlist Foundation, a UK registered charity and powerhouse professional services company Deloitte LLP, teamed up for their annual leadership programme in London from 22-25 July 2014. The third of its kind, the 3½ day programme was a life changing few days for sixty 18-20 year old high achieving undergraduates from universities across the UK.

Achievement awards were presented to all delegates on the final day and the winning group (pictured below) for their presentation on the team challenge was awarded to Yvonne Thompson’s mentor group and buddies Shade Oyewole and Adelani Adesida. Shade and Adelani are former delegates and Shade was a member of the winning team last year. The winning group consisted of Dipo Areoye, Funmi Ajibodun, Jeremiah Shonde, Olatutu Oluwajoye, Prisca Miansiantima and Tanya Esene from the University of Nottingham, Lois Mensah-Afoakwah from London School of Economics, Segun Balogun from the University of Leicester and Yavin Liberatus Fusi-Akpodono from the University of Leeds.

The programme took place in the Blackfriars Campus of Deloitte’s London offices and featured intensive leadership training, ‘meet the market opportunities’ presented by Deloitte LLP, Thomson Reuters and HSBC Holdings PLC and exposure to successful and diverse professionals, via the many talks throughout the programme and through ongoing mentoring.

Students were divided into teams of ten, with their own two mentors and buddies. The mentors selected were chosen to represent different industries and fields. They included; Piers Linney CEO of Outsourcery, who you may have seen on Dragon’s Den; Daniel Taylor, renowned and highly respected design specialist, career highlights including winning the contract to design the Conservative Party’s headquarters in London; Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE, entrepreneur and business leader, founder and director of the UK’s first Black music radio station Choice FM, who also spearheaded the first black owned PR Company according to PR week; Ayo Gabriel, Enterprise Content Specialist (Financial and Risk) and Ozzie Clarke-Binns, Associate for Talent & Development (F&R) from Thomson Reuters; Ama Afrifa-Kyei, Talent Manager HR Diversity, Inclusion Talent Brand Deloitte LLP; Sophie Chandauka, Head of Asset Financing (Legal) of Virgin Money; Charles Sekwalor from COS Ventures; Akintunde Bello MSc PhD, Senior Director, Clinical Pharmacology of Pfizer Oncology who flew over from the USA to act as a mentor for the second time and Scott Morrison from Business Accelerator who has 20 years of unique experience with some of the world’s most innovative, demanding and high performing businesses including Saatchi and Saatchi, Wieden and Kennedy, P&G, Nike, Activision, Levi’s and Diesel.

Buddies comprised of former attendees of the leadership programme who were on hand to provide support to the many challenges that the students faced during the programme and headed by the Ambassador of the Foundation, Claud Williams. Buddies included Peter Adefioye, Leandra Alexander-Cotter, Dennis Sem, Iris Isok, Senyo Aidam, Kyomi Wade, Rachael Owhin, Ife Tokan, Jasmine Ennis, Moses Akintomide, Adelani Adesida and Shade Oyewole.

Features of the programme included: personality tests to raise self-awareness, a ‘meet the market, where they met representatives from established companies to gain insight and exposure and speaker sessions conducted by outstanding individuals. Speakers included Ken Olisa OBE, Chair of the Powerlist Foundation and founder and chairman of Restoration Partners, Adrian Joseph, Trustee of the Powerlist Foundation and Managing Director at Google in the Customers Solutions and Innovation team for Northern and Central Europe, Pamela Hutchinson, head of diversity at Northern Trust EMEA, Emma Codd, managing partner for Talent in the UK, Professor Kurt Barling, currently a lecturer at London School of Economics and award-winning journalist with over 17 years experience at the BBC and Dr. Gbadebo Ogunlami, tri-lingual lecturer and head of business development UK and Africa for Software Mind SA and Adrian Priddle who presented the effectiveness of personal impact and networking to support the personal development of delegates.

With the knowledge gained from their 3½ days on the programme and with the help of their mentors and buddies, students put their heads together to answer a team challenge question – “How would you attract and retain a diverse workforce. Name five measures you would take and why.” This was answered in presentation format and judged by a panel comprising of leaders within Deloitte, Catherine Jones, director in the corporate finance practice of Deloitte, Founder and CEO of Powerful Media Ltd Michael Eboda, founding editor of Future Leaders Adenike Adentire and Sandie Okoro, General Counsel of HSBC Global Asset Management HSBC. 

Achievement awards were presented to all delegates on the final day and the winning group for their presentation on the team challenge was awarded to Yvonne Thompson’s mentor group and buddies Shade Oyewole and Adelani Adesida. Shade and Adelani are former delegates and Shade was a member of the winning team last year. The winning group consisted of Dipo Areoye, Funmi Ajibodun, Jeremiah Shonde, Olatutu Oluwajoye, Prisca Miansiantima and Tanya Esene from the University of Nottingham, Lois Mensah-Afoakwah from London School of Economics, Segun Balogun from the University of Leicester and Yavin Liberatus Fusi-Akpodono from the University of Leeds. Their prize, which was generously offered by Ken Olisa OBE, is dinner at the Oxford and Cambridge Club in London.

The Powerlist Foundation Leadership Programme was truly a great forum for tomorrow’s leaders to learn from today’s leaders. It combined the insight and inspiration of trustees and supporters of the Powerlist Foundation with the best of Deloitte’s expertise from across the firm. The delegates certainly made the most of their time on the leadership programme and are now striving to be leaders of tomorrow.

Veronica Martin, who oversees the governance and management of the Powerlist Foundation and reports to the Board of Trustees said; “All the delegates, speakers, mentors and buddies had an outstanding and incredible experience meeting so many other people living the charity’s motto of ‘Sharing Success with Tomorrow’s Leaders.’  I and the Trustees greatly appreciate the efforts Deloitte put in to making this Programme happen – it was an outstanding success.”

The Powerlist Foundation now harnesses a strong network of over 200 high achieving African and African Caribbean students who are members of the Powerlist Foundation Alumni Network. By far the greatest impact of the Powerlist Foundation was the friendships and connections that were formed during and after the programme. One of the delegates explained:

“Just wanted to say a big thank you for all your efforts and contributions to the Powerlist Foundation Leadership Programme, it was genuinely one of the best experiences of my lifetime so far. I have certainly gained so much from this programme and most of all made connections with people I may have never gotten to make connections with hadn’t it been for the programme. I will be sure to keep you updated with my progress towards my future aspirations and I continuously wish you all the best with what you are doing with the Powerlist Foundation and beyond.” Tanya Esene, University of Nottingham.

The core objective of the Powerlist Foundation is to help young people up to the age of 25 to advance in life by providing support and resources which assist in developing their skills, capacities, capabilities, talents and achievements to enable them to fully participate in society as independent, mature and world-class professionals. Since it’s inception in 2011, Powerlist Foundation’s Leadership Programme has spawned countless new collaborations across networks such as Vanguard Connect, Success Talks, Dream Nation, and many others. While the design of the Leadership Programme has remained constant, the players and elements combine in ways that are always emergent and fresh.

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