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Young leaders reflect after empowering Manchester event

THE FUTURE: Young BAME leaders at the event in Manchester

A NUMBER of organisations have joined forces to help empower and challenge students to become the leaders of the future.

The University of Manchester hosted an annual student conference aimed at young leaders of BAME origin, organised in partnership with Sponsors of Education Opportunities (SEO) London, the university’s African Caribbean Society and law firm Baker McKenzie.

Delegates had the opportunity to network and gain advice from successful speakers and fellow attendees, including global human rights leader Justina Mutale and BBC MasterChef’s Nomalanga Nyamayaro.

Executive of Manchester University’s Nigerian Society, student Anita Makinde said:

“One of the sessions during the day focused on what we personally believe a true leader is. We were presented with quotes on leadership and its various attributes. The quote which stood out the most for me was, ‘Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others’. This quote helped me to understand that meaningful success cannot be achieved in isolation, and the journey to success may be delayed if you try to do everything by yourself.”

The conference focused on imparting ‘soft’ leadership skills as well as wider social and economic factors that may influence the delegates’ future career paths.

The young leaders were encouraged to work to dispel myths and stereotypes surrounding those of African descent, who sometimes face unfair scrutiny from employers and potential bosses alike.

Stephen Turner, Partner at Baker McKenzie, offered his positive and inspiring testimony to those who attended the conference and encouraged them to hold onto their self-belief as they navigated the world of work.

Hedge fund specialist Anand Shah also spoke, providing an insight into the world of finance, in which BAME people are often underrepresented in the UK. He extolled the virtues of joining networks such as SEO London.

Makinde added:

“I would like to thank Dumi Senda for organising a brilliant event, and all the speakers who inspired me on my journey of self-development in order to develop those around me and my country and continent.”

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