Celebrating National Careers Week

Our mission at Making The Leap is to support young people from socially diverse backgrounds, in their journeys to accessing great careers. This year we launched our very first Virtual Work Experience in schools in partnership with Kraft-Heinz and we were extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to see young people working hard to succeed. With this, we found National Careers Week 2021, to be a brilliant way to celebrate the young people who have found success after graduating from our ACE programme. We reached out to a few young people to get their stories:

Hana, who graduated from our ACE programme in January of 2019, shared this:

“I am a Consultant Software Engineer working for a Global IT Consulting Services firm, and I first started this career as an apprentice! My role now mainly revolves around designing and developing applications to meet the needs of our client, though it is not restricted to this alone. Most of the teams tend to work under agile practices, so there is also a great deal of client contact within my role.  

I initially applied for Computer Science at University, but later decided to withdraw my place. I did this for two main reasons: firstly, although a degree is desired, many job offerings did not require a candidate to have a bachelor’s degree in software development. It was, fortunately, a field that had many apprenticeship vacancies too. Secondly, the cost of university had deterred me. I did not want to spend years paying for a degree that was not necessary. 

MTL was great at helping identify areas within me that I could improve and did not shy away from giving honest, constructive feedback which had allowed me to improve my CV and interview skills. As well as this, the team had introduced me to professionals within the Tech Industry, allowing me to tailor my CV towards the role I was applying for and gave me several opportunities to practise my interview skills with a Software Engineer. I didn’t know it at the time, but these skills had been crucial and a core part of working in the consulting sector as an apprentice. 

My advice to any of the fellows who are interested in a consulting\ development career would be that: 

  1. The most important thing to get across in an interview is your drive to learn new things and implement them. Give examples of a time you did this. 
  2. Show you are able to conduct yourself professionally in daily roles, self-manage well and strive to take responsibility over your tasks.”

Check out her success story here.

Stan, who completed our ACE Programme in January of 2020, shared:

“I am currently an Apprentice at Ogilvy and Mather which is an Advertising agency in London. The apprenticeship program is for 2 years and allows me to rotate different capabilities in the company so that I can find the department that I want to work in. I have been working at Ogilvy for 6 months now on the PR team for clients such as Quickbooks, Ford, and Google. My day-to-day role consists of meetings and deep research to come up with creative ideas for campaigns. I am always reading briefs and participating in brainstorming meetings where we have to discuss big budgets or project planning. What I love about my work at Ogilvy, is that I never feel bored because everything is project-based, so I’ll work hard with the team on a campaign for like weeks to months, then after its release, we move on to a completely different project.

MTL helped me find my confidence and motivation in being able to present, but also exercise a lot of skills that I neglected before doing the workshops with Natalie. I am very grateful for MTL because when the time of my Interview day came, they connected me to the right person that helped me prepare for my assessment day. Since I’ve started my work at Ogilvy, my network has grown a lot, now that I am always meeting new people. I have access to a lot of benefits such as training programs, mentorships, discounts, and most importantly, I get to be a part of a very big successful organization that holds weight on my CV.”

He advised: “not to doubt yourself, remember that companies are looking for people with personality and confidence in whatever makes them passionate. They are also looking for people who are always willing to learn something new, so be that person that is always ready to take on challenges, even if you’ve never done it before. Most importantly absorb every piece of advice that is given to you, because it sets you up for success in the long run.” 

Qays, who also completed our Programme in September of 2020, shared:

“When I joined the Virtual ACE Programme, I learnt how to take pride in my work for the sake of the work itself and the time I have put into it. I also feel like I have practised skills on how to be a responsible employee and I can now proactively make changes to my working habits or the working environment when necessary.

Now I am a data analyst at an insurance company, and I am happy and fulfilled in the word that I do. I am fortunate to be surrounded by a team of excellent colleagues and an amazing boss. The skills I gained from Making the Leap has made wonders in developing my confidence in the workplace.”

Check out his full success story here.


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