Saimah shares the positive impact the Royal Docks traineeship had on her personal growth and career as she found the perfect role that aligned with her personality
8 August 2023
Q. What is your name and where are you based?
Hey everyone, my name is Saimah, and I work as a business support officer for Our Newham Business and Enterprise, through the Royal Docks internship programme. I have lived in East London my whole life, and I’m currently based in Stratford.
Q. How does this opportunity tie into your future career plans?
My hope is for this opportunity to eventually lead to a permanent position, because I find the work I am doing diverse, impactful and challenging. My role predominately involves working with the project officers in supporting local businesses with a multitude of services, ranging from finance and digital to recruitment. It's like a balancing act, where I continually strive to keep on top of multiple projects simultaneously.
Since a very early age I have always been entrepreneurial, outgoing and a social butterfly, so call it cringe if I say this, but I believe it was fated for me to join a team where I could put my networking and business knowledge to good use.
Q. What recent projects are you most proud of?
It might be hectic at times, but I am very proud of my overall contribution, especially witnessing first-hand the significant outcomes and receiving positive feedback. I have a ton of examples, but to prevent going on forever, I’ll just list a recent one that comes to mind, which is the Newham Apprenticeship event. Yes, there were a lot of deadlines to meet, and our whole team felt the pressure whilst canvassing to promote the event, but when I look back, I’m very proud of the input I had, which lead to 600+ in attendance, and Newham’s mayor personally praising our team.
Working with a team of people who are passionate, committed, and hardworking is also really comforting. It’s a great plus that everyone is a foodie like me, and I’ve been able to visit so many new restaurants with the team. But mainly being part of such an amazing team has truly inspired me to be my best self every day. I firmly believe that your work environment greatly influences the calibre of your output.
Q. What have you discovered about your industry of choice that most surprised you?
It was surprising to me at first that I enjoyed my line of work so much because I didn't know what I wanted to do originally. I had just left my previous role and felt a little lost, as we all do at some point in our lives. However, I felt that at 25, I should have my life together, so I applied to the internship programme and thought that incremental progress was better than no progress. I trusted that it would be either a blessing or an experience, and from there I would be able to decide what I wanted to do. Now, I definitely see a future working for the council in a more senior position.
The process of getting my internship was smooth, which I took as a sign. Initially, I had my eyes set on another role in a different company. But I really benefitted from the networking sessions with all the companies participating in the programme, which enabled me to realise I would prefer working at the council.
Q. Have you faced any challenges during the programme? If so, how have you overcome them?
There have been challenging moments, especially for me because I like having my hands on multiple projects. It was a learning curve trying to understand how to balance personal, professional, and business life, especially as someone who likes to be involved in everything. I witnessed this dilemma in December at work. We had a very busy period due to a conference we were hosting, but it was also a month I would get a lot of orders on my online store. It was revealed that the most straightforward solution out of the chaos was meticulously scheduling my day and clearly communicating my capacity and tasks, as I don't enjoy whining and prefer to find a solution.
Q. If someone asked you why they should sign up for this opportunity, what would you tell them?
The training we received, the people I met, and the support are all unsurpassed, and I don't say this lightly. Good Growth Hub’s Royal Docks Traineeship has to be the best programme I have taken part in by a long shot. I have thoroughly liked our training sessions, which have taught me a great deal about personal finance, mental health, and establishing good boundaries at work. The most important thing that Royal Docks has rekindled in me is my creativity and the possibilities that open for me when I work with it and think positively. I've just begun writing my own story, something I've always wanted to do but never felt confident enough to do before our creative writing workshop.
I would encourage anyone who is on the fence about joining an A New Direction programme to take a plunge of faith because it will benefit you in ways you probably haven't thought about yet. They are not just about helping you find work; they are also about helping you grow, prosper, thrive in life and seize every chance that corresponds with your pursuit of happiness.