WORK + LIFE
About 9 years ago I moved from Kenya
to Northern Germany to work as an Au-Pair. A country I basically knew no one and hardly spoke the language. Today I am glad that I made that decision. During this time, I was able to complete my studies, work in some of my dream companies and recently, founded The Career Lounge platform, which supports graduates and young professional transition from academics into the German job market.
Looking back, my biggest obstacle
was not having someone to guide and offer me some kind of advice. I had to figure out everything on my own. On one end, the experience really made me grow faster mentally and, on the other end, it was extremely hard especially juggling issues like Visa, culture shock and language barriers.
During this time, my dream was to join a global organization
and I would mention this to my then employers, where I worked as the Cleaning lady and babysitter. I don’t think they really understood me. To them I was just the “Putzfrau” and that’s it. The last thing they expected was asking them to connect me to a job opportunity in the corporate world. However, in my eyes, I was way more than the title. The job was just a way of me, making ends meet and paying my tuition fees. I wanted to make it, and nobody was going to stop me from doing so. So, I had to figure out other ways to get to where I wanted.
I applied for waitress jobs
that allowed me to work at big companies’ events. I would then, take my CV with me and I would interact with the guests while serving them food and mention to them, that I was looking for an internship opportunity, in their company. As soon as a potential opportunity came up, I would hand out my CV. Some guests would give me their business cards and that’s literally how I landed my first internship at one of the largest investment banks here in Frankfurt.
Later I was accepted into their trainee program
and afterwards I was offered a position in one of the largest IT consulting firms, where I now work as a technology consultant. Sometimes I have to laugh, because I served some of my colleagues’ coffee, during some of these events, working as a waitress… but then the tables have now turned.
All in all, I am glad
I made those experiences because now I can help others, so they don’t have to go through what I did.
The Career Lounge platform is a passionate project of mine
and I want to connect as many students, graduates and young professionals as possible, with their dream employer. The platform provides tools and information, on how to land a job in Technology, as well as a mentoring program to help them transition smoothly from academics to workplace and also navigate the workplace with great success.
I am also happy I went through those hardships
because they made me become the person I am today. I have grown mentally on so many levels and I want to mentor others and help them through their transition. I want people to know that:
Your challenges are never your limitations.
You alone can define your future and what you want for your life.
You are the author of your own story.
So, own it because it is what makes you unique.