Royal Docks: POV Diaries w/ Raju Ahmed

Raju highlights the importance of mentoring and the value of accessible, debt-free opportunities when navigating your career

14 June 2023

Q: What is your name and where are you based?

My name is Raju and I’m based in Newham, but I work in Debden for Higgins Partnerships. Born in Bangladesh, raised in Ireland, and lived in Scotland and Edinburgh before moving to London in August 2018 and now I’m here. It’s been a long journey but there are many more adventures and people to meet, which I look forward to.

Q: What do you do and how would you describe the work you do?

I work as a Social Value Assistant at Higgins. My job involves doing a lot of admin work and on other days it can be setting up interviews and interviewing candidates. Travelling to our sites to attend meetings and volunteering with our local charity partners whilst also networking with people to find ways to improve the company’s growth on the Community Social Responsibility {CSR} front.

Q: What recent projects are you most proud of?

I’m proud to have been part of Higgins sponsoring the charity 'Sports Inspired' to organise a sports day for the local schools of Hackney –helping promote physical and mental well-being for young people. It was a privilege to have seen the joy the students got from this event and how it impacted them.

Q: Why did you decide to apply for Royal Docks?

I applied for this opportunity as I didn’t want to take the usual University route people take, and having the debt aspect was something that definitely didn’t appeal to me. I would like to also thank and shine a spotlight on Latoya Solomon from Newham Works for finding this opportunity for me.

Q: Walk us through the application process, what was it like?

The application process was very smooth and easy, the only challenge was the interview process which was conducted in a two-step process. The first was the initial group interview with all of the employers from various companies we had been briefed on to find out what they do. The second was the individual interview, in which we had to research the company in depth and find out who they are and what they do, plus learn the interview questions.

Q: What is your favourite project that you’ve worked on during this experience, and what makes it stand out for you?

I’m proud to have been the face of Newham’s Apprenticeship Week for 2023. It was a humble privilege for Newham Works to have considered me and the other programme trainees for this opportunity.

Q: How has taking part in an ‘A New Direction’ programme helped you with this opportunity?

By taking part in ‘A New Directions’ programme I was able to have access to their in-house mentors such as Raymond Sichilima who passed on their wisdom and knowledge to us. This allowed me to become better as a person mentally and physically, which are key skills from the multiple training sessions we were given throughout the programme. These have all been learnings I will take away with me for the rest of my life, but I will also miss having a Friday at the end of the month to look forward to when I meet the others from the programme.

If someone asked you why they should sign up for this opportunity, what would you tell them?

If you want a debt-free way to find a career that you haven’t considered doing, then this opportunity will change your life. It will really open your world once you put yourself out there. This opportunity has allowed me to grow even further mentally and to be better equipped to handle a lot of workday issues we may face in our work lives moving forward.

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