“Path to a Career” competition by BABD in Russia

24 Jun 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Business Advisory Board on Disability (BABD) – like many other organizations – transitioned to remote work.

In April 2020, BABD held the final event of the “Path to a Career” competition – for the first time online. During the period of self-isolation, more than 120 participants, including young persons with disabilities and representatives of businesses, gathered virtually.

This competition provides companies with an opportunity to select candidates for internships or job openings. The competition presents to members of the business community candidates with disabilities, who are young, talented, motivated, and prepared to work in different fields. In addition, this competition provides young persons with disabilities with the opportunity to secure a dream job and build a successful career using their knowledge, skills and talents.

The “Path to a Career” competition was launched in 2007 and is held annually. The educational program of the competition is provided by the BABD members. Staff from the BABD companies lead trainings, serve as mentors for young disabled job seekers and prepare them for the final event. They also serve on the jury of the competition and offer young disabled job seekers internships and jobs. Perspektiva, a disabled people’s organization and currently the BABD secretariat, is responsible for organizing program activities and events.

The 2020 competition had two components – the educational program and the competition. Young persons with disabilities participated in 12 trainings led by staff of BABD companies. They mastered the art of presentations, learned how to write business letters and to dress for and present themselves during an interview.  26 staff from the BABD companies served as mentors for 25 program participants to prepare them for the competition. In addition, young persons with disabilities attended online open houses at companies. Finally, Perspektiva staff provided individual online consultations to help them prepare for the final event.

During the final event of the competition, young persons with disabilities presented themselves to members of the business community and participated in interactive business games. 18 university students and graduates with disabilities were selected as finalists. Job offers included: HR specialist, legal intern, product manager, software engineer, computer programmer and assistant to marketing manager.

As a result of their participation in the competition, three young disabled job seekers received job offers and six persons got internship offers.