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Heidrick & Struggles and City Year UK Bring Together Top Business Leaders to Inspire the Next Generation

LONDON, April 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Some of UK's top leaders from business, government and public life gathered on April 10 and 11 in central London to share advice they would give to their 18 year-old selves at Heidrick & Struggles | JCA Group's annual Career Builder event, hosted in partnership with youth social action charity City Year UK.

Lord Augustine ‘Gus’ O’Donnell, former Cabinet Secretary and Head of the British Civil Service, instills in students the importance of following their passions at the Career Builder event hosted by Heidrick & Struggles in partnership with City Year UK.

Senior leaders – including Geoff Quinn, T.M. Lewin Chairman and former CEO, Lord Augustine 'Gus' O'Donnell, former Cabinet Secretary, and Mayank Prakash, Department for Work and Pensions' Director General for Digital, Data and Security and the holder of the Most Influential Person in IT award – addressed over 65 young people from across the country, taking part in interactive sessions, panel discussions and workshops.

Reflecting back on his distinguished career, culminating as head of the Civil Service, Lord O'Donnell shared three pieces of advice which helped him to make the right decisions at critical points in his career – namely, to listen to honest feedback, follow your passions and be prepared to take risks.

The goal of the two-day event for students ranging in age from 18 to 25 years, was to prepare them for the world of work. Participants included young people volunteering through City Year UK, who dedicate their time to addressing educational and social inequality. Volunteers serve as mentors and role models for children growing up in disadvantaged communities, including schools in London, the West Midlands, and Greater Manchester.

"We are delighted to partner with City Year UK for the fifth year running and to support an organisation that does so much to help our local communities," said Claire Skinner, Partner-in-charge of the Heidrick & Struggles | JCA Group London office. "We are particularly grateful to the inspirational leaders who dedicated their time and shared their insights to make this event such a success."

London-based City Year UK volunteer mentor Simi Obi-Adewole, 21, said: "The last two days have been very insightful and I've learned a lot from the speakers. It's reaffirmed a lot of what I've learned from my mentors about leadership. I hope to take away some practical skills which I can use to further develop myself and my leadership skills. Something I've really taken away is that authenticity and being yourself is the best way that you will succeed in the professional world."

Other speakers included Andrea Cooper, Group Human Resources Director at Caffe Nero, and Nick Earle, SVP of Global Field Operations for Virgin Hyperloop.

About Heidrick & Struggles | JCA Group
Heidrick & Struggles (Nasdaq: HSII) serves the executive talent and leadership needs of the world's top organizations as a premier provider of leadership consulting, culture shaping and senior-level executive search services. Heidrick & Struggles pioneered the profession of executive search more than 60 years ago. Today, the firm serves as a trusted advisor, providing integrated leadership solutions and helping its clients change the world, one leadership team at a time.®

About City Year UK
City Year UK is a youth social action charity which challenges 18 to 25-year-olds to tackle educational inequality through a year of full-time voluntary service. As mentors, tutors and role models in schools, they support pupils growing up in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the UK.

At the same time, the City Year experience empowers its volunteers to realise their own aspirations and grow as leaders, both through their impact on children's lives and through training, coaching and career development opportunities.

City Year was first established in Boston, Massachusetts in 1988 and operates in 27 cities across America, as well as Johannesburg in South Africa. City Year UK launched in London in 2010 and has since expanded to the West Midlands and Greater Manchester.

To find out more, watch our short animation here.

Media Contacts:
For City Year UK: Kate Corry,
For Heidrick & Struggles: Chiara Pierdomenico,       

Ian Worboys, CEO at PointPark Properties, shares advice with students at Career Builder event, hosted by Heidrick & Struggles in partnership with City Year UK.


Students engage in fifth annual Career Builder event.


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