1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role in the Careers Service?
I joined Royal Holloway as a Careers Consultant in September 2019, having spent the majority of my career working in the charity sector. I’ve always been involved in developing the employability of young people from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from young offenders, refugees and asylum seekers, students of black heritage and white working class boys. However, I was keen to work in HE careers after delivering an employability project during my time working at The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. Many of the young people on the programme were Black heritage university students struggling to find work opportunities and their experiences inspired me to pursue work in HE careers. As a Careers Consultant I have a multifaceted role which includes 1-2-1 careers guidance, in-curriculum and College wide careers education, facilitating events and working collaboratively with academic departments. I also have an active interest in widening participation and making the Careers Service as inclusive as possible.
2. What do you find most rewarding in your role as a Careers Consultant?
There are lots of rewarding elements in my role, but the most rewarding comes from engaging with students. Whether it’s a 1-2-1 appointment that helps a student clarify their values and analyse their skills, an email from a student saying ‘I got the job!’ after a practice interview, a paid internship opportunity being offered after encouraging students to utilise LinkedIn, or simply the relief a student has when they realise they don’t need to have their career completely figured out yet. A proud moment for me was receiving an award for excellence in Teaching and Student Support from the School of Law and Social Sciences. This award means a lot to me because it is decided by students themselves.
3. You recently organised and hosted a discussion with Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE alongside Dr Rita D’Alton-Harrison and Dr Ilham Sebah from the Black and Global Majority Staff Network. What do you find most inspiring about Baroness Lawrence’s journey and her work?
I have personally known Doreen Lawrence since 2010, when she hired me to work at The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. I was, and continue to be, inspired by her unwavering commitment to racial justice and her vision of creating a world where, as Martin Luther King powerfully said, “you are not judged by the colour of your skin, but by the content of your character”. It has been nearly 30 years since the murder of Stephen Lawrence and Doreen continues to campaign for racial justice with humility, grace and supernatural strength – truly an inspiration!
Having worked alongside her for 6 years I was inspired by her determination to see young people become the success that Stephen Lawrence didn’t have the opportunity to become. Whether it’s a young person in primary school, college, university or NEET (Not in employment, education or training) she has always believed in the potential that every young person has and her charity, The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation, continues to work to achieve this goal.
4. What do you enjoy most about working at Royal Holloway?
The people I get to work with! I work alongside amazing colleagues within the Careers Service and enjoy collaborating with academics in supporting the career development of their students. One example is a scheme I co-developed in the Politics and International Relations department which promotes the participation of ethnic minorities in British democracy. As well as day-to-day working, it’s also important for me to connect with people through networks such as the Black and Global Majority Staff Network and the Flourish and Bloom Staff Christian Network. As I’m writing this during COP26 I also have to say that I enjoy working at such a stunning campus, surrounded by beautiful nature. Royal Holloway is definitely one of the most picturesque places I have worked at.
5. How do you normally like to spend your time outside of work?
I enjoy being outdoors hiking and cycling, as well as travelling and experiencing different cultures. I also love music and am currently a big fan of the amapiano genre.