Thursday, 7th February 2019
While many people have been taking part in the 10-year challenge and sharing their past and present pictures, I have been reminiscing about 2009, the year where I decided to change myself as a person. 2009 was the year when I first spoke to a room of 100 people as I was the representative of my class and fellow students. I prepared my speech the best possible way that I could, but my English wasn’t as good as it is now 10 years later and so all I could do was to memorise my lines and hope for the best on the stage. When the day arrived, I was confident in my ability to speak in front of the audience but that changed, as soon as I went on to the stage. I forgot my speech and as my English wasn’t strong, I could not even put a few sentences together to save myself in front of the audience.
I was dejected, sad, upset and in more than one way felt I let everyone down, including myself. It negatively affected my confidence and morale (it didn’t help that my teacher gave me an earful after the competition instead of helping/consoling me). That day, I decided that I would change myself so that I could communicate in English, study in the UK and work towards a degree. At the time I did not know how I would achieve my goal, but I was determined to make it happen and now 10 years later in 2019, I am in the UK on a placement and have met numerous employers, represented my organisation and done presentations in front reputable managers and companies- all in English!!! I have done well in my studies whilst being here in the UK and I’m currently on course to achieve a first-class honours degree which is fantastic. However, I also wanted to secure a placement before my final year to improve my chances of employability after my degree.
Applying for placements was sometimes difficult as I had 10 rejections and no reply from potential employers and the clock was ticking. I emailed and even rang the employers to ask what I have been doing wrong to get rejected so I could improve myself but unfortunately I had no luck. I was in constant touch with my University’s Careers team and they helped me understand that it would take some time to change and edit my CV from its current format to the way I present my skills to the employers and moreover, there was no guarantee of me securing a placement because of the competitive nature. Despite the hardships and time it took (nine months) I eventually managed to get past the initial applications and was invited to an interview after which two of the companies offered me a placement! I was ecstatic at the fact I finally managed to get a 12 month placement which I have worked hard for but more importantly, I was proud of myself due to the resilience I showed in not giving up on myself; believe me there were many times when I believed that I was not good enough to get a placement and that I would have to finish my degree without professional experience. I have gone from being a shy, soft spoken teenager to a confident man. I have gone from basically being rejected to being accepted too.
This has been a tough experience but I would have it no other way as it has been a massive achievement for me which has made it special and I am also ready and prepared for what the world has to offer after I finish university.