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The ripple effect of volunteering: how helping others developed my career

My name is Bolu and I joined the Open Palm family in June 2021 as Project Lead for the WYZ Money course. At the time I was completing my MSc and trying to get a role in marketing which was what I studied but it was quite the challenge.

I’ve always had a passion for volunteering and a few years back I found that what I was most passionate about was sharing and providing access to knowledge and resources that would otherwise be unattainable by the people I shared with. More specifically, financial literacy knowledge along with resources and tools related to art fields as this is also something I have a strong interest in. I realised that this gave me joy deep down and after searching and interviewing for a couple of volunteering roles, I found Open Palm.

I did some research and saw that our goals aligned in the areas of providing financial literacy and helping to elevate others who if not for access to information and opportunities would have lower chances of success in life. This resonated with me and I wanted to be part of such an initiative so I applied for a role.

My original interview was for an admin position but, after interviewing with the team I was offered the opportunity to help grow the WYZ Money programme which in my opinion, already had a lot of great, relevant, and free content that lots of people would pay to have access to. My role was mainly focused on fine-tuning the course; developing and providing perspective on what kinds of topics would be most beneficial to our audience and also finding ways to improve what was already available. I also helped look after some of our in-person events and other initiatives which included work experience at leading law firm Mayer Brown, tech day at HSBC HQ in Canary Wharf, and a trip to the Bank of England Museum.

Overall, it’s been a very humbling experience for me, highly insightful and deeply rewarding to say the least.

Seeing the confidence, participation, and enthusiasm of all the young people is truly amazing and I know things will only get better from here.

Opening doors in my professional career

As for my professional career, Open Palm has quite literally opened doors for me to get into the spaces I’ve longed to be in.

I’m happy to say that I did get that marketing role like I wanted and now I feel like the sky is only the starting point.

To Ralph, Lynette, Sophie and the entire Open Palm team, a big THANK YOU and I hope to see you all real soon!


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