Students inspired by Google’s YouTube team

NigelRole Model Seminars


Urban Synergy delivered another Speed Mentoring event on 22nd June 2023 which featured volunteers from YouTube volunteering as part of their ‘YouServe’ volunteering day. The event was hosted by Prendergast School in Lewisham with 360 students from different year groups, aged from 12 - 17 years.

Dianne Johnson from Urban Synergy hosted the event with Kaan Donmez from YouTube. Our CEO, Leila Thomas welcomed the students and the students were also introduced to Richard Heaslip, Director - Partner Operations EMEA from YouTube, Jen Thompson, Creator & Artist Development and Terri Linder Head of Creator & Music - Strategy & Operations where students heard about what they do in their roles at YouTube and how they managed to get where they are in that industry. Gavin Taylor, Head of Music, Sub-Saharan Africa and Janat Kiwanuka, Strategic Partner Manager also talked about their roles at YouTube and career journeys.

During the event we found that one of the YouTube team, India Srih, was actually an Alumni from Prendergast School which was wonderful for the students to hear. 37 YouTube volunteers from different parts of the business and also had been based in different countries, took part in the event to decode their roles and provide the students with their career insights and life at YouTube which is now part of Google. YouTube also brought some YouTube cup cakes with them for the students!

  • 94% of the students said that they learned about a career they were not aware of before
  • 73% of students felt that they were more motivated about their education after the event
  • 100% of the students rated the event 4 of 5.

We’ve shared some of the student feedback below:

“It was really good to meet people who work at YouTube. It opened my eyes to more career opportunities and made me realise how much work goes on behind the scenes at YouTube!”

“It was nice to see all the work and effort that goes into such a widely expanding global company. It was also nice that all aspects and jobs in the company were represented - it was also nice to see the diversity.

“I learned that I should be inquisitive and grab opportunities, especially if it involves learning about different cultures and environments.”

“I enjoyed learning about the different roles there are in big organisations like YouTube”

“I learned how you may end up in a totally different job than you may have expected but that’s what life is.”

We would like to thank Prendergast School staff for hosting us and their hospitality for a lovely lunch and thank you to all of the YouTube volunteers for their time and insights during their ‘YouServe’ volunteering day, special thanks to Janat Kiwanuka and Kaan Donmez.