When I was seventeen I was told by my Sociology and Politics tutor that I could never work for an organisation where I was required to sit behind a desk.
“Nope, Rabya I just can’t see you do it – I guarantee you, you will be mindlessly bored.” Although this was meant to be complimentary of my outlandish and vibrant personality I walked away feeling slightly wounded, as thoughts of me having an exceptionally successful profession slipped away. As it so happens, she was right. I used my time at University to explore myself and what makes me ‘tick’ – (Admittedly, like most students, this was done whilst I lay in bed at 2pm on a Monday afternoon).
What I learnt was; I wished to be successful and hardworking whilst not losing sight of who I am. This was why when I initially applied to HSBC I was sceptical about what the ‘organisation’ would turn me into, but due to various factors I decided to take the plunge and accept the offer to enter the Executive Management Trainee Programme.
I am almost a year into the programme, currently based in Corporate London Real Estate and I am happy to admit it was a plunge I am glad I took. The Executive Management Programme in addition to its fancy title has opened up an array of opportunities for me, all the while teaching and training me in the verses of the business.
The programme is well-known and respected within the organisation, which gives you exposure to the different business areas and decisions regarding the specific career choices you undertake easier to navigate.
I believe making a decision about your career after University is one of the most important decisions of your life. You are in your prime; young, enthusiastic, with time and energy and most likely the decision you make will shape your foreseeable future. This is why the ET programme was perfect for someone like me, who did not exactly have a ‘five year plan’. You see, when you join the programme it is not definitive, but instead a sturdy stepping stone-giving you time and choice to calculate exactly what is right for you through hands on experience. Rather like a cocktail, you receive a flavour of everything. With the opportunities opening up to me and the experiences in different business sectors that five year plan is coming along nicely.
Of course there was always an underlying interest in business and understanding exactly ‘how things work’ from my part and I think having a passion for the career you choose to undertake should be weighted substantially in your final decision, it’s just extremely satisfying when the decision you make ultimately leads to contentment in your job.
The fast paced environment, the responsibility, the constant acquisition of technical and commercial knowledge means I am constantly on the move, doing something different everyday, as of now that’s 278 days of doing different things – not a promise fulfilled by every organisation. Begrudgingly, I must admit the desk no longer repulses me but is instead where I come to receive a little respite from the exciting events of the Executive Management Trainee programme.