I heard about Catalyst as I was approaching the end of my third year of university when Lucy mentioned it to me during a meeting that made up part of one of my module assignments. With the end of my degree, and my subsequent graduation rapidly approaching, I felt overwhelmed at the thought of what lay ahead. For the first time in over 16 years, I was acutely aware that I was weeks away from there being no structure to follow, no one to tell me what to do, and no set path for what came next and it was terrifying. Despite my wealth of work experience, ranging across multiple industries from childcare, to retail, to hospitality, and an extensive list of skills I had developed over my degree, I still had no idea where I fit in the business world, or if it was even where I wanted to be at all!
However, I left the meeting curious to know more and rushed home to get googling! After reading everything available on Catalyst I could find online, I bit the bullet and sent Lucy an email with the aim of finding out even more. Two interviews, 9 weeks, and several emails later, I was offered a place on the 5th team, and a month later I found myself on an 8am bus in the pouring rain on my way to my first day!
After hearing several horror stories about being thrown into the deep end from the start with new projects and client meetings before I’d even have time to take a breath, I went into my first day a bag of nerves, anxious about what lay ahead. However, after a two hour introduction with Lucy, the Catalyst Programme Manager, I went into the rest of my first day confident in my ability and reassured that whatever lay ahead, with the support of the rest of the team I could handle it. I was pleasantly surprised at what the remainder of the day held and instead of meetings with new clients, I found myself spending the remaining few hours researching various business incubators and flexible work spaces in Brighton and talking to them about what made them unique.
I’m joining Catalyst with no idea what the next 12 months will hold for me. With a year of client meetings, new projects and new experiences ahead of me, I don’t doubt for a second that the Catalyst scheme is going to push me out of my comfort zone and throw me in the deep end more times than I will be able to count, but despite the nerves, I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.
The chance to spend a year working for such a diverse mixture of businesses was something I couldn’t pass up. Having spent the past two years previous to joining Catalyst working as a receptionist in a hotel, I left with enough stories for a 6 season sitcom, holes in my shoes (literally), and the ability to handle absolutely anything thrown at me and I am welcoming the change of pace and new environment with open arms. You never know, I might actually find an answer to that one question every Catalyst Team Member loves to hear; “So what is it you do?”