Selvia was born and raised in West London after her parents moved from Macedonia. She moved frequently, sometimes in temporary accommodation. Selvia’s school-life was challenging – her school had a low pass rate and was housed in temporary buildings during her GCSE years. Fortunately her teachers recognised she was bright and encouraged her to attend university.
Neither her friends nor family had been to university, so Selvia felt unprepared for what to expect. Whilst there, she sadly suffered racist abuse which knocked her confidence. As a jobseeker, she thought her headscarf led to assumptions from employers that she was more marriage-focused than career minded. She noticed the gap between herself and more advantaged graduates and found herself believing she’d never get the role she dreamed of.
She was initially reluctant to attend MTL’s workshop, but over the course of the programme, she realised her attitude was changing. She enrolled for the Corporate Careers Programme, where she felt her skillset improving and began to believe she could achieve. She applied for TeachFirst, a selective graduate programme renowned for producing highly-skilled talent. Though she was going through a difficult time, Selvia felt boosted by MTL’s support and persevered with her application.
She was invited to attend the TeachFirst assessment centre, where she found herself drawing on MTL’s training. Achieving top marks, she used the confidence and communication skills she’d learned at MTL. to achieve a place on the prestigious programme. She’s really excited about the future and all the opportunities now open to her.
‘Without MTL I wouldn’t be here. There’s no way I’d be doing TeachFirst. I didn’t realise I had such a negative attitude towards everything- work, school, life- until I came here. That’s when the positive attitude came. MTL gave me a lot of hope. It literally changes your attitude. Because of our upbringing and our schools – I went to one of the worst schools in the area- but coming here taught me that who’s to say I can’t do the same role as someone else? It doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you get there!
If you’ve finished uni and you expect everything to be sorted and you’ll get a job, it’s not like that. You need to offer more. MTL will provide you with the mindset that people are looking for. Coming here really did change my life.’