Dan Miller, 22, is the founder and CEO of Young Professionals UK, an organisation set up to help provide young people with the experience and knowledge required to ‘unleash’ their careers.
He founded the organisation when he was just 17 years old, whilst studying for his A Levels in Year 12.
Since then, Young Professionals UK has grown exponentially. Dan and his team now work with 2,000 schools around the country, and have over 40,000 school leavers across the network.
That list of 2,000 schools includes Aspirations’ Space Studio West London, who have been working with Young Professionals UK for a while now, providing Space Studio pupils with contacts, guidance and work experience to broaden their skillset and improve their industry knowledge.
Some of the companies that they have worked with include PwC, EY, Capgemini, CIMA and Rolls-Royce.
Dan said: “I’m 22, so I’m not that old myself, but I wanted to give back to young people and make sure they got really good opportunities.
“Rather than being shoved down the university route, they are actually being shown alternative route paths to getting in to work, and getting them exposed to some of the biggest brands on the planet.
“These brands will have hundreds of jobs going each year” he added.
The reason why Dan decided to set up the company was because he had noticed that the university-focussed careers guidance around the country was not suitable or appropriate for every young person, and it had neglected other pathways into careers.
Young Professionals UK, therefore, works with businesses to help promote and encourage students to consider non-university options after sixth form.
“My advice is to make your five UCAS applications, but also to complete five applications for other paths at big companies offering degree apprenticeships in whichever field you want to get into.”
The growth that the company has enjoyed, according to Dan, is largely due to the hands-on and personal approach that he and his team utilise in building relationships with schools around the country.
He said: “We never hired any marketing agency to get us out there or anything, it was me calling the schools myself and talking to them about what we do and the opportunities that we provide students with.
“It was quite slow to start with because I was still in school, still studying, but one thing that I really valued was developing relationships with teachers and with schools.
“Out of those 2,000 schools, I have actually met with someone from every single one” Dan added.
A group of students from Space Studio attended Young Professionals UK’s virtual work experience earlier this year, which was the biggest virtual work experience that has taken place nationwide.
The virtual work experience week was a huge success, with about 4,500 students taking part in addition to around 30 large, global brands.
Dan Miller said: “We usually hold events in schools talking with students about all of the different options they have, including apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships, in a variety of different industries.
“This year, a lot of those had to be cancelled due to coronavirus. We will be going back into schools when we can, but until then, we will keep doing things virtually.”
At this year’s inaugural virtual work experience, “students were coached on how to get jobs, we were conducting psychometric tests and digital interview prep, lots of cool things to help them through the process” Dan added.
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