I am Bunmi Adekeye. My team and I work closely with UK students and young graduates typically aged 14-24 years old to:
- Coach and connect them to the best U.K. career opportunities so that they fulfil their potential.
- Help them develop skills that are typically not taught in school but which are highly sought after by employers.
- Keep them abreast of enriching super-curricular opportunities that will boost their profiles and confidence.
We also work with parents of students, equipping them with the information and tools to effectively support their children.
I have first-hand knowledge of the British education system and its graduate schemes especially in law, consulting, finance and banking. My experience comes from:
- the wide range of students and graduates (including my own sons) that I have successfully supported from pre-school to top universities and leading careers.
- the management positions I’ve held in the finance and banking sectors in the City of London, where I also conducted internship and graduate scheme interviews for a Big Four Professional Services firm.
How it began
Born in London and raised in Lagos, I arrived back in London with my two toddler sons in 1995. My husband joined us in 1996. Raising two healthy male toddlers is not for the faint-hearted so we had get to stuck in immediately. We had a strong sense of urgency, it felt like we were in a swim or sink situation and we were determined not to sink… The immediacy came from the kind of news we were hearing on a daily basis about young black boys… and gangs… and crime… and more…
Determined not to be a part of the problem, I started to look for solutions. I’ve always been an ardent believer in the power of education to transform lives so I set out to understand the British education ecosystem. The more I discovered, the more I was amazed. Amazed that so many people like me had no idea of how it all worked or what they could do. I found that many people who meant well for their children did not have the information and tools to support them. It dawned on me that I could not keep what I knew to myself, I had to share, it’s the least I could do for my community.
So I started to share information via email with any friend or acquaintance who cared to know. Attached to my emails were newsletters I created using my self-taught Microsoft Publisher skills. Looking back now at the formatting of the newsletters is cringe-worthy! However, amateurish or not, the content was rich and that rich content has touched and transformed many lives. Word soon got round and people started to invite me to speak at conferences and seminars for parents. This all happened in the days when your side hustle was not something you talked about; you could even get fired for daring to do something else outside of the day job.
For many years it was a struggle, I had a full-time career and a full-time family. However the passion remained and though limping along, The Smart Kid stayed alive albeit very informally. The passion for all things education and early careers strongly influenced my career choices. It determined which jobs I applied for or did not apply for, so that I could invest quality time in my sons. The quest for knowledge also determined what I chose to do at work. For example, when the opportunity to become involved in graduate and internship interviews in a top City of London professional services firm presented itself, I grabbed it with both hands. I learnt so much through that process and it is instrumental to my success in coaching so many young people seeking graduate roles and internships.
In December 2018, I decided it was time to formalise The Smart Kid as a Community Interest Company and there has been no looking back. I coach students and young graduates typically aged 14-24 years old through a range of Soft Skills workshops, one-to-one coaching, online courses and blog posts. I am constantly on the look-out for work experience and super-curricular activities that will boost the life chances of the young people and I publish these to our opportunities page every week. I work with parents too, the parent-student partnership is crucial for success! I support them through various webinars and have a dedicated online course for parents of teenagers.