Despite the challenges of being caught up in lockdown in Spain, I’ve made an exciting – if remote – start to my career, working for a company that is all about helping young people succeed! Some months ago, I was about to finish my postgraduate degree in International Heritage Management at the University of Birmingham. It was then that I started wondering about the career possibilities that I could follow and where I could be located. I already had a degree in Journalism and Mass Media Communications in Greece but I didn’t have a clear career path in mind.
After my graduation I returned to Greece and then Spain where I stayed during the Coronavirus pandemic. There I started blogging and created a personal website as a way of stepping outside my comfort zone (this weird “box” that many of us are trapped in). I realised that working as part of a team and in favour of meaningful purposes is a great guideline for my career. We often find ourselves wondering what the next step might be – it doesn’t matter if you are 14 or 30: sometimes a new beginning comes from being ambitious and trying different things.
Meanwhile, I was experiencing Spain’s lockdown and I wanted to return to the UK. Despite the pandemic and Brexit, I wanted to put into practice everything that I had learned in British academia in a relevant environment and place. I was aware that the University of Birmingham offered a variety of internships, named “Impact Internships”. Through my research, I ended up choosing Digital innovators, who offered 50 days internship experience.. It was an easy choice because their business model seemed to support all the elements that I was looking for in a job. The position’s title advertised was ‘Industry Placement Coordinator’, and although I was not yet familiar with the full story behind it I was convinced by the requirements of the job. Collaboration with partners, being a part of a team, assisting young people discovering themselves, and their interests and supporting students and coaches with the project management. Maybe the last part was the one that drew my attention more because it included communication with people that would develop various skills and needed to find the motivation to work on different projects. I immediately applied and some weeks later I received an invitation from the team for an interview. Over the next few weeks many (remote) meetings took place.
And now, here I am, finishing my first week at Digital Innovators! Working for a startup is a great and interesting challenge where all the members of the team need to discover alternatives together. I had previous experience working for a London based startup but Digital Innovators have already achieved so many things in less than 3 years. Three countries and a week later I can say that I am very glad for being a part of this digital community where many things can be explored!
What I have learned during all these years and experiences is that being ambitious, disciplined, and open to new opportunities can be a great guideline for our lives. At the University of Birmingham, I learned to be disciplined following specific projects and one of the things that I would like to develop in Digital Innovators is the ‘design thinking’ that we focus on. I will try to express how theory can be turned into action that can be implemented on projects. In Digital Innovators there is a diverse environment of people with different skills and a meaningful goal and approach to facilitate the career prospects of young people. That is why I am excited to be a part of this team and at the same time ready to help young people fulfil their greatest ambitions.