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Diary of a Debate Mate x HSBC Future Skills Mentor, by Anthony!

Next up in our Diary of a Debate Mate Mentor series, is Anthony, one of the mentors on our Debate Mate x HSBC Future Skills Programme! Read on to hear all about his experiences teaching on the first two rounds of this hugely successful programme...

Since the start of this year, Debate Mate have been working with HSBC on a very exciting virtual collaboration, delivering a Future Skills programme to students in Oman, aged 17-18.

Through a series of interactive workshops, students learn valuable employability and financial literacy skills through a hybrid English and Arabic lesson format, taught by our world-class mentors.

Read on to hear about Anthony's experiences as a mentor on this programme...

My name is Anthony and I had the pleasure of mentoring on the first two cycles of the HSBC Future Skills Course with Debate Mate! 

Our sessions were split between teaching both personal finance and debating skills, in relation to economic topics such as the ‘Global Economy’ and ‘Sustainability’ in the 21st century. This allowed students to gain both theoretical and practice-based understanding of the overall course goals.

I had the pleasure of teaching three groups across both cohorts who were active, engaged and very excited to take on this course and develop their understanding of personal finance and debating. I often recall the later weeks of the course fondly as students, by this point, were actively using the skills they had acquired earlier on to passionately argue their points. For example, during the budgeting and financial planning segments, students ardently argued as to why their financial plans were best and the most sensical. This led to spirited debate and a general sense of robust discussion that enabled every student, even the shyest, to take part and gain insight into various perspectives. 

Students also hugely benefited from the dual language presentation and mentoring environment. As mentors, we were sure to actively engage the students in regular discussion, boosting the students' confidence and consolidating the skills and techniques learnt as the course progressed.
Students were actively encouraged to make use of real-world examples, from famous people to social policy and environmental campaigns, facilitating a diversity of discussion topics! 

The students themselves were excited to point out a number of key takeaways from the course. These included, but were not limited to; greater confidence, improved debating skills and language usage, the ability to accurately apply finance knowledge and skills to help themselves on their career journey and, to help others. As a mentor, I was extremely impressed by the desire to learn and cultivate a sense of community with other students during our sessions. It is for this reason, as well as the reasons aforementioned, that I believe that all early university students would benefit immensely by taking part in these courses. 

I can only hope, as a mentor, that this course continues to grow and thrive with the support of HSBC and hopefully, be available to ever greater cohorts.