This June, we celebrate the second anniversary of AXA’s involvement in the Alliance for Youth. We’ve achieved some remarkable results, both in terms of recruitment and events/projects that we’ve organised.
One shining example of the success of this partnership is Maryna Soula. Maryna was born in Ukraine, studied in Germany and the USA, and moved to France two years ago. Last year, she joined AXA as the Global Graduate and Youth Programs Co-ordinator, after attending an Alliance for Youth event at AXA headquarters in Paris.
Discover her story and her advice for people early in their careers, who are searching for work:
How did you discover the Alliance for Youth?
Early last year, I was actively looking for a job in Paris and taking part in various networking events. I wanted to understand the key elements that companies look for when hiring the best talent.
One day an organisation, linking young people with companies, told me about an event that AXA was organising as part of the Alliance for Youth. It was specifically for young people looking for work and involved CV coaching, interview preparation and career advice. I was really motivated to get a job, so of course I went along.
(Maryna (in white) at the Alliance for Youth event at AXA in 2015.)
What did you think of the event?
The whole day really exceeded my expectations. My main goal was to improve my CV and take part in a real interview simulation. I especially remember having the interview simulation with Kirsty Leivers (Group Diversity and Inclusion Business Partner) and reviewing my CV with Angela Buren (Head of Talent and Performance) who is actually now my manager. After the day, I felt empowered, well equipped and motivated to continue with my job search. I would like to thank all the teams that make these events happen around Europe, especially local HR teams and AXA Hearts in Action volunteers.
So how did you end up joining AXA?
During the Alliance for Youth day, I had a chance to network with several teams who at that time had job openings at AXA. It was Angela Buren that suggested to me to get in touch with her after the event and said that there might be opportunities available. I got in touch with her the next day with my new CV that thanks to her I’d improved significantly. I joined AXA headquarters just one month after the Alliance for Youth event!
(Maryna surrounded by her colleaugues at AXA in the Employer Brand team.)
How do you feel you have grown since the event and joining AXA?
I’ve learnt so much during this past year and I’m still learning. I’m lucky enough to work simultaneously in two different teams on global projects; one of them is the Alliance for Youth initiative. This has helped me to understand AXA’s business, its people across the world, and has also helped me become more agile. I think at AXA, employees have a lot of possibilities to grow professionally; the company is highly focused on digital ecosystems, working on youth employment, entrepreneurship and getting involved in start-ups.
Why do you think the Alliance for Youth is important?
Youth unemployment in Europe is a serious problem. The events organised by the Alliance for Youth are a great way to step inside different companies and meet with managers face-to-face. Young people are empowered to be pro-active and use every opportunity they can in their job search.
Finally, what advice would you give to young people based on your own experience?
Learn, follow your goals, don’t give up and most importantly find a dream place to work!
For early career opportunities, information on events and advice and tips you can follow DiscoverAXA on Facebook and Twitter, and Alliance for Youth on Facebook. To search for internships/apprenticeships and graduate program positions at AXA around the world, take a look at our Career page.