The 20th of August has arrived, the student bubble has burst, and I have officially entered the world of full-time work. The lead up to this day has been filled with the conventional nerves but also excitement and intrigue. Since reading the Catalyst Team Member job description and applying in mid-January I completed my dissertation, finished working at my main part-time job and have graduated.
From the moment I read the job description and explored the Catalyst website, including the list of small businesses and start-ups that I may have the opportunity to work with, I felt a sense of intrigue and wanted to know more. It was great to find out during my interview that I could have the chance to work with numerous companies in and around Brighton as well as Croydon. I was happy to see that the job description included they were not just looking for Business students but students from numerous departments. Despite that my degree was in History and I had no previous knowledge, I applied!
Since moving to Brighton after having lived in London for my entire life until I was 18, it really did feel like a different world. I enjoyed walking through the Laines to see the quirky and random shops in the North Laines as well as the local food stores and independent restaurants around the city. It was a shock to me at first as Brighton is quite small compared to London, but I have grown to love it. Moving to Brighton made me appreciate the local businesses and Shop local where I could, and if I was to have a meal out, I tried local eateries. However, a year or two after moving I realised a fair few local shops I had regularly seen were shutting down. This highlighted to me a real problem and I did some research (the historian in me) that more corporate chains were moving in to the Brighton laines and the rent was getting higher for the stores which the chains could evidently afford, but it was becoming a strain for the local small businesses who had been around for years or were quite new on the scene. This was a sad realisation but also fuelled my desire for the Catalyst Team Member job as I could potentially make a positive impact on a small business or startup.
I enjoy helping people and making a difference in their lives, which my previous work experience has exemplified. My time as a Widening Participation Ambassador centred on helping young people make informed decisions about Higher Education. Whilst working as a Pharmacy Advisor I helped people daily with their prescriptions and helped them choose the correct over the counter medication for their minor illnesses. I also managed to get a job with a Spanish start-up at the beginning of 2019, ‘Twenix’, where I helped people with their English speaking in short twenty-six-minute conversations. It has been great to have gained extensive skills from my previous jobs, but I have mainly loved the aspect that I’m helping someone. I am ready to take these skills into my professional world, but also the new world of business by working with and helping start-ups!
So far, my first day has been great, the nerves have decreased and the anticipation for my first project with a company has increased. I have been promised challenges (but also support, as Eva emphasised) which I am ready to tackle.