Citi Volunteers from Hungary Share their Experience
At Citi, the volunteering culture is well anchored in the corporate values. We had the chance to meet with three Citi employees from Hungary, happy to share their experience as volunteers in the Company Programme in Hungary.
Country HR Officer and Shared Services HR Head, Citi
Group Information Security Officer, Citi
What made you want to become a volunteer for the JAM-Citi Young Entrepreneurship Program?
Zsolt: I was curious about Citi’s Social Responsibility on the ground and how I can add value to it. JAM-Citi Young Entrepreneurship Programme’s goal and target audience is close to me and gave me an insight about our future, because these young boys and girls will have a significant impact on it.
Gyorgy: I wanted to help and to offer my assistance as a volunteer. This was completely new to me and I gained additional experience due to this opportunity.
Klara: My motivation for supporting young talents met with the objectives of the JA Hungary programme. I love to see how the new generation is evolving and growing, as well having some deep dive opportunity into the changing workforce needs.
How important it is for educational sector and businesses to work together?
Klara: Engaging with young students is a must have, a business imperative for all organisations and doing it in a structured but fun way is a unique way to engage.
Gyorgy: That is not a question as a business has to think forward like new ways, products or a cause to support or get involved in and this is also an opportunity to raise awareness about the company and what the company does for a better tomorrow.
Zsolt: It is important to broaden the view and experiences young people have in addition to regular educational programmes. This provides an insight for young people, about what they can expect in their ‘after school life’. Such programmes will help businesses too, as the young ones might be the future employees of the company. During these programmes the direct interaction and the immediate feedback speeds up the learning process.
Why are entrepreneurship skills so important for young people?
Gyorgy: We are in a changing world and innovation is an essential part of it. Without an entrepreneurial mind set you can’t be innovative and developing this only requires some motivation.
Klara: The new generation is keen to develop ideas and is truly interested in establishing start-up companies but in order to be successful, they need to understand the fundamentals of business. This programme supports the learning curves through the sessions offered by JA but also by having “real business people” as mentors.
Zsolt: It is always about how you can sell yourself, your product or your vision. These skills are easier to learn in a younger age and help you create the mindset that would be advantageous later. Having said that, the economy needs entrepreneurs, innovative start-up companies to fulfil current needs and provide answers for actual problems. The road to a successful entrepreneurship is bumpy and build on experiences, so it is important to allow young people gather as much experience as possible.
What do you think you personally gained from this experience?
Zsolt: I have learned that inexperience can be compensated by team work and passion, and that this generation learns quickly and is more mature than I thought. I also experienced that the complexity of the problems they face during the year is much more than a simple ‘sell your goods exercise’ along with the challenges they had to go through with this programme. I guess I understand a little bit better this generation with limitless capabilities and it is inspiring for myself as well.
Gyorgy: As a judge this was my very first time and I think I did it just right. What I have to think forward due to the fact that I had to present the least successful team is how to announce bad news, how to give a motivational speech and how to empower them and motivate them to move forward and not give up.
Klara: It was equally rewarding to participate as a judge as I suppose being a participant. It was a high energy and engaging with young talents is always truly inspirational.
What would you tell others who wish to become a volunteer in the program?
Gyorgy: I would strongly suggest to get into the head of the participants as they are from a different world with different views and ideas. What is common for us might not be for them.
Zsolt: It is an honour to represent Citi outside of the office walls and experience the power of the knowledge we gathered and shared. It is an inspiring programme which does not take too much time. And when it does, it is intense and memorable.
Klara: Just do it