Kenneth participated in HeadStart during summer 2015 after NCS. He volunteered at the London Bowling Club for 16 hours, helping with the maintenance and restoration of the club.

After completing his volunteering, he went for a part-time job interview with Starbucks. It was the first time he had ever been interviewed, and he was incredibly nervous. He found the advice given by HeadStart instrumental in the interview going well. He said attending the workshops taught him a range of useful tips and tricks. Skills like understanding how to make a good impression, and how to use techniques like STAR to answer questions (Situation, Task, Action, Result) were vital and he still uses them three years on.

Following his interview he successfully secured a part-time barista role and worked at the Berkeley Street location for two years before leaving to take part in a year-long apprenticeship with Bloomberg in September 2017. During his time at Starbucks he was invited to attend a meeting with the Board of Directors where he spoke about his HeadStart experience and attended a coffee tasting with top Starbucks directors. On his experience he says, “[Starbucks] was like a family. I really liked the environment and it was like our own little world where your only focus is on making the customer happy. It gave me an outlet to cope with the stress of my A-levels. It was really hard to leave.”

He firmly believes HeadStart helped change his life, “Whether you get the job or not, you get to have the chance to meet new people in a variety of different settings, and learn new transferable skills you thought you wouldn’t get at such an early time in your life,” he explains, “HeadStart provides you with the skills that you need for the future. It has allowed me to become more independent and self-reliant. It’s a win-win.”’

He is now at Newcastle University studying computer science and working part-time for the mobile banking company Monzo. After university he plans on going into IT and working in a customer facing role.


Mia volunteered at the Clapton Youth and Play for 22 hours before securing a job at the Brushfield Street Starbucks store.

Why were you interested in HeadStart?

It was a great opportunity to help my local community whilst gaining employability skills, as well as the potential of a job with Starbucks at the end.

Can you tell us about your HeadStart experience?

HeadStart was such a great experience! I’d never done anything like it before and I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed the volunteering aspect. I’ve learnt that volunteering can be so much more fulfilling and enjoyable than I ever thought it could be. Also, it gave me so many great examples for my interview and gave me so much more confidence after interacting with different people coming from different backgrounds- I will definitely continue volunteering!

What did you gain by attending the workshops?

The workshops were also incredibly helpful as they taught me how to convert my volunteering and NCS experiences into solid examples and how to present myself in an interview. They also made me feel a lot more prepared and less nervous for the actual Starbucks interview, which I think is what got me the job!

What’s it like working at Starbucks?

My first few shifts with Starbucks have been really informative and I’ve learnt so much in such a short space of time. The manager and my fellow barista’s were incredibly welcoming and supportive. I feel like the training is comprehensive to the point where I’ve developed really quickly in the role of a barista and already feel like an important part of the team. I’ve also made new friends an am generally enjoying the role. It’s a challenge but it’s a great one!