HISTORY OF THE PROGRAM

 

Bay Street Deconstructed® is a registered not-for-profit corporation that was formally established in 2015.

 

In May 2014, Bay Street Deconstructed® launched an exciting new educational program for Grade 10 girls and boys described by The Toronto Star as a workshop to “fuel youth’s interest in the financial industry”.

Teachers at the pilot launch were excited by the results of the program, with 96 per cent of the 100 or so Grade 10 students indicating that they now had a better understanding of financial services than before and 85 per cent of the students noting that they had fun participating in the workshop.

A team of professionals with a broad base of skills and experience in both education and industry contributed to the development of an innovative program structure, with effective and relevant content, designed to address gaps in current high school courses and existing industry initiatives with respect to financial services career education.

With a differentiated approach of fun and interactive experiential learning, Bay Street Deconstructed® focuses on the areas of personal and commercial banking, corporate and investment banking, sales and trading, equity research, economics, insurance, investment management (wealth and asset), and operations.

The program was founded by Eileen Jurczak, who currently works on the Trading Floor with BMO Capital Markets. She was inspired to get a program started in the Spring of 2013 while attending a speed-mentoring event at her high school. Eileen discovered that most students have a limited view of financial services careers as being in the areas of personal banking, accounting, and possibly insurance, where this narrow definition can partly be explained by the students’ lack of exposure to most areas of this industry in their daily lives.

Further research indicated that while there is an opportunity to provide clarity to both boys and girls about careers in the financial services Industry, girls in particular seem to be limiting their career options early on in this field. Part of the problem stems from gender differences in making career choices, where girls face early career limitations when they do not have a good understanding of interesting careers that use their skills.

Yet, current high school courses are not designed to address this gap in exposure to and understanding of careers in the financial services industry.

And, while existing industry initiatives do provide students with important information and experiences, they do not effectively address students’ lack of understanding of Financial Services careers. This is the result of one or more of the following:

 

1) Many programs have a method of content delivery that is presentation based and generally lacks interaction and experiential learning.

 

2) Many programs have a general business focus, where the finance content is primarily based in accounting.

 

3) Many programs are only available to a very small group of students from any one school, where these students have already self-selected Finance as an area of interest.

 

 

 

By providing the right information to all students at a time when they are making decisions about potential careers, the Bay Street Deconstructed® program will better position students to make informed decisions about their futures.

 

 

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