Life after University can be daunting.
You feel you need to quickly decide what career path to take and have some key decisions to make.
After speaking to lots of students and holding Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Forums (BAME) with Essex students, it became obvious that students didn’t feel there were enough BAME role models in the spotlight, to speak to about career progression.
We’ve spoken to some Essex allumni who have been there and done that, and they’re pretty inspiring.
Philip Orumwense, 1991 MA Political Behaviour “I studied Politics for my Bachelor’s Degree before completing a Masters in Political Behaviour, a second Masters in Business Administration and thereafter a Doctor of Business Administration”.
Sarah Adenaike, 2010 LLB Law “My focus after completing my law degree was to gain employment and start living my dream life if you like”.
How did you get to where you are now?
“Following my time at the University, I did a number of ‘temping’ jobs as a cross over to much more formal employment. This gave me a great deal of insight into what I really wanted to do. This led me to secure a permanent role as a Stores Controller with responsibilities for purchasing and managing the maintenance, repairs and operating supplies. Thereafter, I worked for a series of automotive supply chain companies and eventually joined Siemens, working both in their business Services, automotive and transportation divisions and later on a £3bn outsourcing deal to transform the National Savings and Investment Institution before joining the UK Central Government”.
“Whatever you choose to do be persistent! Most of my personal achievements has been due to me being unrepentantly persistent. The move from University to the real world is never easy, my candid advice is, learn from the experiences of others, and don’t wait for 10 years to learn something that another person could have told you in 24 hours. This is one of the reasons I recently wrote a bestseller book titled “Things University doesn’t teach you” to simplify the journey of others. Grab a copy on Amazon and thank me later”.
Do you feel being Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic in ethnicity has affected you in the work place?
“As a person of colour and of a different nationality, race and belief systems, intersectionality becomes a core paradigm in my daily interactions even beyond the work place. There are various factors at play and mutually intersecting to inform the perceptions that people have of me including my colour, my ascent, my thought process, mannerisms, behaviours and attitude. Therefore be prepared for the manifestations of unconscious bias in your interactions in the work place and aim to develop internal coping mechanisms for dealing with this”.
“With regards to discrimination in the work place, speak up to the relevant person in charge, find out the policy in place to address such matters, do your research and remain calm and professional, but remember everyone at work deserves to be treated with dignity and respect”.
What lessons have you learnt?
“I’ve observed is that most graduates are looking for jobs, it’s high time graduates start thinking outside the box and creating their own jobs and opportunities. Almost everyone has an idea however, a lot people don’t take action. Push boundaries, work on your ideas, be persistent and get results. No doubt it’s not always going to be an easy journey and surely, you will encounter difficulties and challenges but it’s all a part of your success story”.
What advice would you give to Essex students?
“In all of this, it is important to remain driven, passionate (about own and organisational values), remaining focused on performance (engaging with people & delivering results), being confident and self-aware. Spending time on what matters, not expecting to be perfect but always striving to improving, try to do things smartly and differently whilst remaining ambitious and aiming higher to get to the very top of your profession”.
“Most importantly, know your value, know your worth and never give anyone permission to make you feel less. You can follow me on Instagram and Twitter @vision2mission2 to find out more”.
There you have it. Some top tips and advice from real successful BAME community members!