Ross McEwan starts off the new academic year with a visit to Gracemount High School

21 August 2015

This morning Ross McEwan, CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland, visited Gracemount High School in south Edinburgh to speak to students as a part of the charity Speakers for Schools. As a part of RBS’s support of Speakers for Schools, Mr McEwan spoke to 120 students aged 16-18 sharing his journey in business and learned lessons – focusing on skills they can be cultivating in school, doing what you love and the importance of resilience. Students from the school were then given the opportunity to ask their questions, ranging from his reasons for taking on his role at RBS, to advice for success after school.

Ross McEwan, CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland, speaking to students at Gracemount High School in south EdinburghRoss McEwan was visiting the school in his capacity as a speaker with the Speakers for Schools charity – which sees some of the UK’s most influential leaders from business, culture, the arts, sports, science and technology delivering talks in secondary state schools across the UK, completely free-of-charge. Speakers have a chance to share their unique insights as leading figures and have a direct dialogue with students about important issues that might impact them as they make their next steps in life. This was the school’s first event with the charity.

Ross McEwan said: “I thoroughly enjoyed speaking to the students at Gracemount and having the opportunity to take their questions about the world beyond school as well as their concerns as they think about their next steps. It is always hugely rewarding to speak to young people and to give them advice and hopefully help them to think about what matters to them and what they might want to do in the future.”

Students were equally keen to hear his advice for what they should be doing and thinking about when they move on to a career, and how to go about getting a job that is right for them, to which Ross emphasised his personal belief that one should ‘do what you love’.

Paul Reilly, Head Boy at Gracemount High School, age 17 said of the talk: “It was an inspirational talk by Ross and great way to start off the school year. Ross’ talk has given us all a lot to consider and it was to encouraging to hear about his life and the determination, resilience and character he has shown throughout the challenges of his career.”

Ross Hunter, Headteacher of Gracemount High School said: “It was an absolute pleasure having Ross visit our school and speak to our senior pupils. He was inspirational and I know many of our senior students have taken a lot from today’s event. Ross spoke passionately about leadership, self-efficacy and the importance of having values at an individual and business/school level. As a school we have worked hard on promoting a values based culture which enables us to not only focus on developing academic ability but also focus on developing character, something we feel is very important. As a school community we look forward to building on the lesson learned from Ross’ input today.”

Our thanks to Gracemount High School and to Ross McEwan for a fantastic start to the year and a wonderful event.

To see more about the impact our talks are having on students, check out Our Work page.

Ross McEwan, CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland, speaking to students at Gracemount High School in south Edinburgh

Ross McEwan, CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland, speaking to students at Gracemount High School in south Edinburgh

Ross McEwan, CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland, speaking to students at Gracemount High School in south Edinburgh