International law firm Bird & Bird recently teamed up with telecommunications giant BT and charity Generating Genius to introduce students from under-represented backgrounds to the world of science, technology and the law. The workshop-based event formed part of Bird & Bird’s wider efforts to promote diversity and social mobility within the legal profession, as well as providing an insight into accessing other industries.
Generating Genius helps disadvantaged students with an aptitude for science, technology, engineering and maths subjects who lack the financial, family or school support available to their more privileged counterparts. Twelve students participating in Generating Genius’ Uni Genius programme visited Bird & Bird’s London offices to participate in the two-day event, where they worked in teams to develop a new product for BT that took advantage of its unique market position.
Bird & Bird and BT representatives were on hand to provide advice and mentorship during the brainstorming and product development sessions and also advised on collating the final presentations. Students also received master classes on various topics including; technology and the law, patents, branding, presentation skills, accessibility, the technological landscape and future trends in work, plus advice on interviews and job applications. Over lunch, there was also the opportunity for the students to network and to discuss their future career choices and education.
The event proved hugely popular with the participants, who came up with a variety of fantastic and innovative new products for BT. Feedback from the students was very positive, with some commenting that it “was an amazing experience” that had built on their confidence and showed what opportunities were available to them.