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How a free course kick-started my career in Charity

How a free course kick-started my career in Charity

Ashleeka discovered a free course being offered by The Prince’s Trust which lead to a whirlwind of opportunities and a solid start at a future career. This is her story.

My name is Ashleeka and I came across The Prince’s Trust in February 2019. I had recently graduated from University in 2018 with a degree in Psychology and luckily managed to get a job as an Admin Assistant straight away.

After working there for about five months, I realised that I was becoming unhappy and demotivated as this wasn’t what I wanted to do. I was really struggling to navigate the real world after university and felt very isolated. I came across a Facebook ad for a Future Leaders event from The Prince’s Trust. At first I didn’t think it was real because it stated that it was free and you don’t get many free opportunities nowadays! The event was for one day and was designed to build confidence and discover your inner strengths.

Imagine my surprise when Gareth Southgate turned up and sat next to me!

I was apprehensive before going as I had never done anything like this before. The event took place in Central London and I was greeted by a friendly Prince’s Trust staff member and taken to the room where the other young people were nervously waiting. It took a little while to get comfortable but the programme leaders made everyone feel welcome. Imagine my surprise when Gareth Southgate (England Football Manager) turned up and sat next to me! Everyone was so confused, but we were later told that he was going to be an ambassador for Future Leaders and wanted to get involved. After taking part in this one day programme, my confidence had improved and I was excited to take part in more programmes.

I then attended the advanced, 2-day version of Future Leaders, run by Flying Start XP. This time, our group was more focused on perfecting interview and CV skills. This is something that I really needed help on as I was struggling to find a job. In two days I learnt so much about my key strengths and my values. I now know how to use them when applying for jobs. I gained valuable skills and knowledge on how to excel in both interviews and applications, feeling very positive moving forward. This was great preparation for Get Hired, a live speed interviewing event which was my next step with The Trust. Get Hired enables employers to interview candidates in person, without having to read through lengthy applications. Cutting out this step allows the candidate and employer to build rapport, giving young people like me a better opportunity to find work.

I was left unemployed and anxious about what was going to happen during the pandemic.

I  attended three Get Hired events and successfully gained work experience at the Financial Times in the summer of 2018 for 2 weeks. Whilst attending these events, I still applied for jobs having gained skills and knowledge from The Prince’s Trust programmes. I was then successful in getting a job to actually work for The Prince’s Trust as a Qualifications Administrator! I was still able to complete my work experience at the Financial Times whilst employed by The Prince’s Trust, however, I never thought the work experience would lead to me getting offered a further internship! My internship lasted 6 months and finished in May 2020, right in the midst of the coronavirus that is still ongoing. I was left unemployed and anxious about what was going to happen during the pandemic.

This was the perfect opportunity for me

I was constantly on LinkedIn and came across the opportunity to return to work as a volunteer with the Innovation Team at The Prince’s Trust. This was the perfect opportunity for me as it also felt like a chance to give back to The Prince’s Trust for all the help they had given me. The Innovation Team were so friendly, kind and welcoming and supported me throughout the whole experience. My role was to help get new employers and jobs onto the Get Hired Jobs Board to help other young people find work during this difficult time.

To conclude my story with The Trust (for now), I have just landed myself a new job at the Young Women’s Trust as a Fundraising Administrator. I would like to thank everyone I have met at The Prince’s Trust for helping me get to where I am today.