This Saturday 9th July Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Moving Up project held its second employment skills workshop, a day of talks and activities for young disabled people. Ronit Himatlal, 24, is currently studying for a degree in Business Management at Middlesex University. He is spending his summer doing work experience at our offices for the Traiblazers and Corporate Fundraising teams. He blogs about his experiences of the event, particularly on making Muscular Dystrophy UK history by running our first ever Snapchat story.
I had the opportunity to attend the Moving Up employment skills workshop through my summer placement here as part of my BA degree in Business Management. One of the main reasons I wanted to come was because until now I have not had much experience of working or the application process. I also thought it would be interesting to hear the range of experiences of other speakers, organisations and Trailblazers.
Overall, the talks and activities were beneficial in helping us identify our skills, as well as highlighting areas in which we needed more experience to reach our full employment potential. Having disabled speakers was interesting as it meant that as well as our general employment concerns we could discuss the particular challenges involved in looking for work with a disability.
I am really passionate about my degree topic business, so my attention was grabbed as soon as I found out that the global financial services company ING would be doing a workshop. The two members of the HR team, Jane Seaver and Mei Shan Tei, gave an informative talk on the structure and organisation of their company. They then moved on to business-related advice on the (often daunting) process of applications and interviews. Their tips on what a large business is looking for in an interview were particularly interesting to me, as well as the opportunity to network with representatives from an industry in which I am looking to secure future placements and employment opportunities.
Because of my knowledge and experience of social media, which came up during tasks I was given on the placements, I was asked to orchestrate the social media for the day. I was the first person to use a Snapchat story at a charity event! I really felt like I was making a difference to the community outreach and social media direction of the charity. It was a challenging, but rewarding opportunity. I had to make sure I was getting what I wanted to learn out of the day, as well as the information that would make the best social media posts. Although I found it difficult to balance the two priorities at times, it was ultimately enjoyable, because I feel like the charity can now move forward into new areas of social media. We could also use the ‘snaps’ I took for other social media, such as blog posts, Twitter and Facebook, so my work will have a lasting impact.
One of the most enjoyable parts of attending events like these is the social element: meeting new people and sharing different experiences. This was particularly important to me because I don’t meet many young people with disabilities on a daily basis. Since I’ve come to Muscular Dystrophy UK I’ve had much more of a chance to mix with disabled people. It was really valuable to meet people who’d been in similar situations to my own and who had overcome their challenges in really inspiring ways.
The Employment Skills Workshop was one my favourite parts of my summer placement at Muscular Dystrophy UK. I heard vital information on how to improve my skills to gain employment, developed my multi-tasking skills and broadened my knowledge of employment issues relating to disability.
If you’d like to find out more about the Moving Up project, attend one of our events or do one of our placements fill out our survey here, or contact Isabel Baylis on email@example.com or 020 7803 2889