I came across the opportunity to take part in the ACE Programme at Making the Leap after finishing University. I noticed at the time that I needed to improve my networking skills when it comes to navigating the professional landscape. The Programme not only taught me how to navigate the this, but also how to utilise my already given talents, charisma, and raw life experiences, to package and present myself as a valuable candidate to my prospective employers. 

The ACE Programme has helped me knock down certain social barriers; as the first woman in my immediate family to go university, I felt that I owed it to my family to make them proud, not give up on myself, and to also pave a way for my siblings. I was eager to learn and get my foot in certain doors, and the programme enabled me to do so and has since guided me through my journey. Being able to have first-hand insight into some of the UK’s leading organisations through a multitude of industries, helped me to realise that it is not impossible to reach greater heights so long as I could visualise myself there and take the necessary steps to get there. 

I was able to exercise these newly learnt skills at a coffee morning with HSBC Bank where I got to network and eventual got a role in HSBC. Following my banking experience, I moved on to gaining great experience with a prominent law firm called Mishcon de Reya, where I truly enjoyed the professional atmosphere and saw the importance of building healthy relationships within the workspace; so much so I’ve still maintained my networks despite working in another organisation. I’m currently working for a Regulator and I have continued to nurture all the skills I gained from Making the Leap. Like any journey in life, my journey hasn’t been smooth sailing; however I do believe that I have gained extremely valuable tools from this Programme that continue to benefit me throughout my life even with opportunities I’ve gained outside of work. I am still continuously looking to grow, and I am excited to see what the future holds for me.

By Christelle

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