top of page
  • lynn

Supporting the delivery of a project: The Employability Event – As a Project Support Officer Intern by Lois

Updated: Apr 1

About Me

My name is Lois Owumi, also known as Lopet. I have recently completed my master’s at Swansea University in Management Business Analytics. I am currently an Intern with BMHS as a Project Support Officer and loving every bit of it.

The Project

In a new environment where the path to employment is filled with challenges, especially for international students unfamiliar with the cultural landscape, a transformative project took shape.

The journey began after numerous conversations with international students, both current and graduated, who expressed their frustrations and dissatisfaction with the daunting task of finding employment in a new cultural setting. Their voices echoed a common plight—a lack of direction and support in navigating the job market. Moved by their experience, a team of individuals at BMHS convened to devise a solution, and thus the concept of the employability event was born. Our goal was clear: to create a platform that not only connected these students with potential employers but also equipped them with the necessary tools and knowledge for their job search.

As a Project Support Officer Intern, my role in this endeavour was multifaceted and personal. Drawing from my own experiences as a student who has recently completed her studies and was eager to enter the job market, I found myself deeply connected to the project's mission. At the time of writing this article, I could really resonate with the crowd. In my own case, I easily landed interviews as I am proficient in tailoring my CV and cover letter to a role I am qualified for. I also developed myself professionally especially in the field of project management and business analysis. My personal problem was at the interviews. I kept receiving unfortunately emails after each interview and majority had feedback suggesting I either had the experience or I was overqualified. I am a strong person, but I was deeply broken. Is it because I am a black person? This question was the only thing I could come up with as my reason for being unsuccessful most times. I struggled but this event gave me hope that there is an organisation out there looking out for people like me.

The project, an employability event designed to bridge the gap for everyone, especially ethnic minorities in the job market, was a source of hope and opportunity for many who were desperately looking for jobs or how to meet employers. Beyond the job opportunities, this event also provided live CV review, and interview support. The presence of a personality like Toyibb Adewale Adelodun, a life coach and mental health advocate giving life and employment tips which contained so many words of wisdom, is hard to forget in a hurry. Having recently completed my studies and standing on the threshold of the job market, I understood first hand the challenges my peers and I faced. This project was more than just an event; it was an intentional mission to contribute to solving the pervasive issue of employment inequality.

Behind the Scenes: The Role I Played

My involvement in this project spanned various areas. From the get-go, I was deeply involved in the initiation and planning phase, where our team aimed to reach a broad audience, including recruiters and the university's employability team, to ensure the event's success. Part of my responsibilities was to engage these stakeholders effectively, inviting them to participate and support our event. This task required meticulous attention to detail and persistence, ensuring that we had a diverse and robust group of recruiters and support services at the event.

Team meetings were an integral part of the project's planning stages, and here, I made sure my contributions were meaningful. Sharing ideas, providing feedback, and collaborating with team members ensured that we were all aligned with our objectives and strategies for making the event a success.

On the day of the event, my role transitioned to one of support and interaction. It was crucial that everything ran smoothly and that we captured feedback from participants to understand the impact of our efforts. I was tasked with supporting the event's delivery, updating critical documents, and developing a research questionnaire in collaboration with volunteers. Working closely with volunteers, I created and engaged the attendees to gather insights on the questionnaire, designed to elicit honest feedback about access to social services among ethnic minority participants and if they felt disadvantaged in several sectors including the employability sector because of their cultural background. The feedback collected was invaluable, providing us with insights that could help shape future initiatives and ensure that we were truly making a difference. Being present to assist in the delivery of the event and engaging with students to understand the impact of our efforts on them was both enlightening and rewarding.

Learning and Growing: Building Towards a Great Career Path

This experience was a profound learning journey for me. It honed my organizational, requirement gathering and time management skills, taught me the importance of effective communication, and underscored the value of teamwork. The hands-on experience of supporting such a significant project from the ground up has equipped me with a robust set of skills and competencies that are essential for my long-term career path.

Furthermore, the project allowed me to develop my project management skills and gain a deeper understanding of the community we are serving. This understanding is invaluable and something I will carry forward in my career, displaying empathy, cultural sensitivity, and a commitment to equality and inclusion.

A Personal Mission

Beyond the skills and professional growth, this project was a personal journey for me. As someone who has experienced the challenges of job seeking as a member of an ethnic minority, I felt a deep connection to the mission of the employability event. It was an opportunity to give back and to contribute to a solution that would help not just me but many others in my community.

The success of the event, with over 200 participants from minoritized backgrounds engaging with employers and support services, was proof of the power of community and collaboration. It was a reminder that when we come together to support one another, we can overcome barriers and create opportunities for growth and success.

The event's success was amplified by the enthusiasm and dedication of our volunteers. Collaborating with such a diverse and passionate group of individuals was not just enjoyable but deeply enriching. Their commitment to our cause was a constant source of inspiration, driving us forward and reminding us of the impact we were striving to make.

In the end, my role as a Project Support Officer intern at the employability event was more than just a position; it was a chance to make a difference, to learn, and to prepare for a future where I can continue to contribute positively to society. This experience has not only built a strong foundation for my career path but has also reinforced my commitment to supporting equality, diversity and inclusion in every sphere of life. As I move forward, I carry with me the lessons learned, the friendships forged, and the satisfaction of knowing that, in some small way, I contributed to making the world a little better for some people.

178 views0 comments


bottom of page