Understanding the rules of the game
Ben Prouty is the CEO and Co-founder of Shepper. Prior to starting Shepper, Ben was part of the early start-up teams at Streetcar (now Zipcar) and LOVESPACE. He lives in London and enjoys exploring the world, when time permits.
My journey with Onpartu started... My journey with Onpartu started over 2 years ago when the Founder, Paulina, shared her wonderful idea with me. I've been involved ever since, as a mentor and partnerships ambassador. That means I attend sessions that focus on the strategic direction of Onpartu. It's been incredible to see how the programme has progressed over such a short period of time.
Getting involved meant...
Getting involved presented me with a great opportunity to participate in something very different from my day job. It also provides the chance for me to meet an incredible group of people from different countries and backgrounds that I may otherwise not have the opportunity to meet. Furthermore, it's hugely rewarding to feel that I am able to make a difference in someone's life, with even the smallest bit of advice.
My Onpartu role is... My primary role with Onpartu is that of a partnerships ambassador but I also mentor and support some of the training sessions. I bring to the table my experience of starting new businesses and building teams of people. I have a particular interest in understanding corporate culture in the workplace and I hope that my wisdom in this area will be of value to candidates on the Onpartu programme who are looking to better understand the "rules of the game" in the UK, when it comes to work. I've also grown up in a number of different countries so I hope to be able to relate to the challenges faced by these women, coming to a new country and trying to find their feet.
In my day job, I am responsible for ...
Everything! As a CEO and Co-founder, there isn't much that I'm not ultimately responsible for. We've already hired two employees though and it's important to start letting go of some responsibility and entrusting it to the team.
Volunteering with Onpartu provides...
Volunteering with Onpartu is special because of the diverse mix of people you have the opportunity to engage with. This includes both the women on the programme, but also fellow volunteers and mentors. There is also a very strong culture of support throughout the organisation. To volunteer with Onpartu, you need to genuinely want to help and you need to be generous with your time. Beyond that, I think all backgrounds and experiences are valued as it's important that the women on the programme get exposure to a wide range of experiences and skill-sets.
My biggest learning so far...
I've learned just how incredibly strong the Onpartners are and how dedicated they are to bettering themselves. Weekend after weekend they show up, on time, to participate in the programme. Most are working during the week, often unsocial hours, so to give up your free time to work hard on the programme is a huge testament to their dedication.
The ability to identify what you are good at and become the best you possibly can be, in that area.
Join Onpartu because... You will be able to make a huge contribution, whatever your background and because the rewarding feeling you get as a volunteer cannot be replicated in the corporate workplace.
Our "Onpartu+I" series shares stories of people working behind the scenes.
To discover more click here.