Mentor: Sarah Basford
Ahalaam attends City & Islington College in Islington and studies A-Levels in Biology, Psychology and English Literature. Ahalaam plans to study Psychology at university and has applied to study at Sussex university, University of Surrey, Goldsmiths university, Brunel university and Greenwich university. Ahalaam plans to pursue a career in technology and has ambitions to work in HR.
Ahalaam explains why she applied to join the programme “I didn’t want to become a clinical psychologist and I wanted to be involved in using my passions in something more corporate in HR and or marketing which I felt could use someone who had a background in psychology. I knew that this skillset would be needed in the technology sector because I feel it needs to be more supportive of their employees and have a better culture that cares about their well being and to help them to be more productive which will benefit the sector. I knew that I wanted to play a role in this so I applied to this programme to get a deeper and clear understanding of how I can make this happen.”
Ahalaam describes the impact the programme has had “Before I had a mentor I thought to work in technology I would need to develop more technical skills such as coding, but then I realised they do include people like me who study non traditional degrees because my mentor studied psychology at university as well so that encouraged me to now actively pursue a career in technology. My awareness of the technology sector is much stronger. I was very critical of myself at the beginning in terms of the value I could bring to a business but my mentor made me feel more confident about my skills. I have better interpersonal skills now than I did before and am more confident in a workplace”
Describing her mentor Sarah, she says “At the beginning I was very shy, and it took me a while to open up with her and say what I needed help with. Sarah was understanding and patient with me. Sarah has broadened my horizons and opened my eyes to see that I have transferable skills. She really inspired me because she has done the same degree that I want to do and she didn’t intend to work in technology but because she had transferable skills she was able to make that move so she is a role model for me and shows what I can be in the future as she was in the same position I am in now.”
Talking about her future in technology: “I am definitely going to explore more.”