My name is Clive Luketo and, over the past 12 months, I have been working at RSA as an intern through East London Business Alliance’s (ELBA) social mobility scheme. I’ve learned a lot in my time at RSA and, through this article, I wanted to take the opportunity to show what my experience has been like and how the scheme works, so that others can learn about how it could benefit them too!
My journey so far
But first, some background on me – I am the eldest son of Congolese parents who immigrated to the UK in the 90s, and I’m a class of 2020 graduate from Queen Mary, University of London. As I was nearing the end of my course at Queen Mary University, where I studied International Relations, I found out about the ELBA scheme. For those who don’t know, the scheme provides graduates living in East London, who were either entitled to free school meals or went to a state school, the equal opportunity to work at City firms like RSA on six-month internship programmes. After two interviews and a written task, I was selected out of several candidates to join the Social Impact and ESG (environment, social and governance) team.
I’ve been working as the Corporate Responsibility Assistant at RSA, supporting the Social Impact and ESG team. The team’s goal is to connect with and support the local communities in which we operate through initiatives such as volunteering and fundraising activities. For instance, with our charity partner Skills Builder I have been able to coordinate volunteering opportunities for our employees to give young students an insight into the world of work and their role within it. We have been able to deliver 12 opportunities engaging over 50 employees, who have found it rewarding. To give you a better picture of my day-to-day responsibilities, I have included a summary of a typical day at the end of this article.
Adapting to home working
Throughout my time here, I’ve been predominantly working from home as a result of the pandemic. As an individual starting their career, it has been well documented the impact this can have on networking and making connections. Like many, working from home has also meant that I needed new Wi-Fi to handle the consumption of data while I work, and avoid me having to apologise for network issues while on Skype/Teams calls. In my case, my four younger brothers using their phones, or the PlayStation could sometimes be problematic! Nonetheless, the flexibility that working from home provides by spending time with my family and having the necessary tools to do the job was great. It also would have been more difficult to do my driving lessons during my lunch hour if we were in the office.
Despite some of the challenges of working from home during the pandemic, everyone at RSA has been very supportive. I have been fortunate enough to have been in contact with many people within the business who have provided sound career advice as well as support on projects and personal development. While at RSA, I was not only keen to fulfil my duties as Corporate Responsibility Assistant, but I also wanted to build experience outside of my role to learn as much as I can, and RSA really helped me with this.
I have had support in understanding insurance through various individuals, which help spark my interest – I didn’t know how fascinating insurance could be! I have also had the help of senior leaders with day to day and stakeholder management. I also enjoy writing and, while working here, RSA have given me the opportunity to create four articles for The Thread (including this one), with the help of a member of the PR team. I also produced a video showcasing the efforts of the Social Impact & ESG team. The enormous help I received is something that I believe was really crucial during my internship, allowing me the space to develop not only as an intern but as a person too.
As someone who has often grown up as one of a few ethnic minorities in school and university, I am big believer in diversity in all areas, a philosophy that RSA share. I have been fortunate enough to get help along the way and always look for opportunities to give back to others. During my time at RSA, I was pleased to be part of their Race Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage (REACH) employee resource group, which has supported charities that promote racial awareness and inclusion.
As my internship draws to a close, I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work at RSA, especially with the Social Impact team who have made my experience really enjoyable. The experience and connections that I have gained from it has meant that I have been fortunate enough to secure a permanent role within RSA as an Assistant Underwriter in the Casualty team!
The most important lesson that many have told me at RSA is to bring your whole self to work. We are all unique in our own ways and there are many people within RSA who are keen to support you as you start your career.
Day in the life as a Corporate Responsibility Assistant
- 8:30 – 9am: Meeting with ELBA Mentor to talk about career progression and wellbeing
- 9 – 10am: Responding to email enquiries within the Corporate Responsibility team inbox from charities and employees regarding charity partnerships and our match funding scheme
- 11 – 12pm: Weekly Social Impact & ESG team meeting around priorities for the week
- 12 – 1pm: Golden Hour (an RSA employee initiative where you can take an hour each day to spend on yourself, whether to go for a walk, spend time with family or catch up on emails)
- 1 – 1:30pm: Lunch
- 1:30 – 2pm: Bi-weekly call with the PR Team to plan articles for The Thread
- 2 – 3pm: Charity Committee call to discuss plans around the return to face-to-face volunteering and support on further ESG initiatives
- 3 – 4pm: One-to-one meeting with the CR Manager to discuss progress of priorities and future important dates
- 4 – 5pm: Responding to any outstanding email enquiries within the Corporate Responsibility team