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Aon professionals support college in Chalk Farm

Using chocolate may not immediately spring to mind when trying to explain trade credit insurance, but it proved very effective when Kaz Layton, Account Manager at Aon Limited, spoke to a group of young business and finance students at Haverstock Business & Enterprise College in Chalk Farm. Kaz was there to offer advice on how to get started in the world of work using his own experience as an example.

He told the students that at the end of his school career he realised he wanted a job but wouldn't get one without qualifications, so, somewhat reluctantly, he went on to 6th form and then university.

Having then landed a job with Aon Trade Credit in Birmingham, Kaz described his initial frustration at not being able to progress as quickly as he would have liked, but how hard work and perseverance helped him to progress, earning him the respect and trust of his colleagues and leading to his promotion and a move to London to further his career.

He gave the students a good insight into what was involved in his average working day and provided an example of how he had dealt with a particularly difficult client problem.

In his explanation of trade credit insurance, Kaz used chocolate to grab the students' attention. "As I was talking, I was throwing chocolate to various students. I went to throw chocolate to one of them but instead threw it behind me, upon which I asked him for payment for the goods. He said he shouldn't pay as I hadn't delivered. I argued that I had and needed payment. I then asked the class what they thought the matter was with that situation and who was in the right. To my delight they said we needed to check the contract."

In the course of his talk, Kaz faced many challenging questions ranging from whether it was boring working in an office to international opportunities and even whether or not he was married. To the first he responded that sometimes work was boring but it was important to understand why you are doing something and how it fits into the grand plan. To the latter, he turned the question round by stating that family commitments were an essential part when choosing a career.

For Kaz, the experience proved very worthwhile. "It was a great experience and one I would recommend any business doing. From an individual point of view, presenting to an audience who has no fear really makes you think about the foundations your company is built on. While, from a business perspective, it helps to strengthen the talents of your staff."

The benefits to the students were outlined in a thank you note from Business & Enterprise Manager at Haverstock College, Kay Ali, "Thanks so much for your time today. I thought it went really well. I bumped into some of the students and they were so positive. They felt really inspired and that they had learnt a lot."

Guru lectures such as this form part of Aon's extensive mentoring programme. According to Community Affairs Manager Sally-Coode-Bate, "We believe mentoring plays an important part in the personal development of our colleagues, honing their presentation and communication skills and broadening their outlook as well as benefiting our local communities. To encourage participation, we offer as wide a range of opportunities as possible to suit individual levels of commitment, ranging from participation in one-hour lectures to half or single day workshops, or to regular weekly commitments, with both primary and secondary schools."

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