I had optimism (maybe too much) that studying a broad three-year course in Business and management at Sussex university would help steer myself towards an interesting and strength-utilising career path. Concurrently, many friends came to realise their career aspirations through success and enjoyment in specific modules, alongside myself being constantly drilled about one dreaded question by family, friends, acquaintances, you name it – they’ll all ask the same question…’what is your plan after university?’. I however remained none the wiser of my career path. Therefore, watching looming deadlines for graduate programmes creep up became a bit of a stressful time alongside final year studies to say the least. Fortunately, whilst browsing CareerHub to procrastinate from revising over the Christmas holidays, still with no clue of what I would like to pursue or even apply for, I stumbled across the Catalyst advert...
Wow. The diversity of the role seemed almost too perfect for myself and my current position. I often found myself trying hard not to raise mine and others hopes up too high whilst explaining the role to family and friends, yet completely failing as I knew as soon as I completed my first interview that I wanted to work as a Catalyst member. Luckily, I was offered the role and due to start on the 30th July.
Despite finishing exams in May with an early summer holidays involving travelling round the east coast of Canada, USA and then the Bahamas, the 30th July soon crept on me, I couldn’t keep flying away from my responsibilities….
The 30th July had now dawned upon me, despite being excited to join the team, as with any new job and change of environment some nerves had apparently kicked in the morning of, and hence woken me up an hour before my alarm. Not such an issue I thought, a nice non-rushed morning I shall have before walking to my first day of work. However, life wasn’t as kind to me that morning as I thought. After heading to the kitchen to make some breakfast and returning to my room, my keycard unexpectedly didn’t work…leaving me stood in pyjamas, with a bowl of porridge and a cup of tea, locked out of my room. Leaving me with no option but to embarrassingly run across Sussex Campus and back in pyjamas to find a receptionist to fix my keycard. Luckily, after now completing my first day at Catalyst, I can confirm that despite the nerves, my day only improved from then on.
The first day began with a friendly induction with Eva Poliszczuk, Catalyst’s project manager, immediately making me feel welcomed and excited about the opportunity this experience will hold, with many success stories of Catalyst alumni being shared. The day followed suit with introductions to again a very friendly team, instantly shutting down fears of not settling into the workplace and feeling nervous to voice opinions or ask questions. Then sitting down at my desk to begin ‘real work’.
Knowing the great opportunity I’ve been given to build my experience beyond merely the theoretical base provided by my degree, whilst also supporting exciting small and entrepreneurial businesses through maximising value of minimal assets, has left me very appreciative. I look forward to what this year will unveil and all the people I am lucky enough to meet along the way.