After graduating from university with an average grade I felt really demotivated and lost. I thought I would have to start from scratch and go back to university, which was not financially feasible, to progress my career. I felt like the only options available to me were jobs which were not in the finance sector, and this felt like a massive step back. After a lot of persuasion from my family I finally contacted the Job Centre in Streatham, but after five months of constant rejection – even while attending the job centre – I lost hope.

Eventually my work coach told me about Making The Leap and said being able to find a job within finance was a possibility through their programme. After a bit of scepticism I finally contacted Making The Leap and booked myself in for the March Workshop. My first impression was that I would gain nothing, but that soon changed when I received constructive criticism on my handshake and eye contact when greeting a potential employer. This really opened my eyes to the mistakes I didn’t realise I was making during interviews. After this day I felt as if I wanted to commit 100% to the Workshop in order to reap the benefits.

Although the first week of the Workshop helped me break down my skills and utilise them efficiently, I enjoyed the second week more because we had more corporate exposure, meeting various organisations to understand what is required to work at that level. The interactive aspects of the Workshop really helped me understand that I am capable and I have control over my future, which I felt I was lacking. During week two I revamped my CV, with the help of industry professionals, which really bolstered my application success rate. Following the CV session, giving presentations and taking part in mock interview sessions helped me understand my self-worth and gave me a professional structure to follow when applying for jobs.

Ajun with his March Workshop Cohort

The skills I really improved upon at Making The Leap were leadership, communication and team work, which were enhanced over the three-week programme because I was constantly put out of my comfort-zone and tested. This pressure of getting tasks done in a team, with very tight deadlines, brought out my skills and mirrored what working towards a deadline within an organisation could feel like. Although Making The Leap helped me enhance my skills, I felt most grateful for being taught to break down my past experiences and word them better for applications. Thanks to all the skills I enhanced, the self-confidence and knowledge of various corporations I gained, I successfully found a job within the finance industry. This is undoubtedly thanks to the workshop developing me into a more confident and professional individual.

By Ajun, aged 21

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