My Career Journey and Internship with Purpose HR

This year we have been absolutely delighted to offer our first ever summer internship within Purpose HR, with Folashade having joined us initially in July for a six week period, which has since been extended into September. In this inspiring blog, Sade gives an overview of her career journey so far, talks about following your passions, learning new skills and pivoting your career in a new direction, and reflects on her experiences so far within Purpose HR.

My Career Journey

My story has not been a straightforward one is the best way to describe my journey so far. Lots of twists and turns but ultimately grateful for the point I am currently at, joining Purpose HR has indeed been a blessing.

I studied Accounting at the university, I know, would you believe it? I however started working in HR after graduation and I really enjoyed it so decided to gain more understanding and this led to me coming over to the UK to complete my Master’s in International Human Resources Management back in 2012.

It was while completing this course that I met my future husband, so HR really has been a blessing to me in more ways than a career path! On completion of the course, I took steps to get into HR but no role was forthcoming and this was not due to lack of trying. After months of unsuccessfully trying to break into HR in the UK, a consultancy opportunity came up within Financial Services and I took it.

I enjoyed my time in consultancy as my roles usually involved going into a broken system to solve problems and provide solutions to the Team on ground. I had the privilege of working with some global names such as Standard Life, Lloyds Banking Group and Prudential. I was thrown into roles with no prior knowledge and only a few weeks to pick up new knowledge and then start delivering solutions.

I did this from 2014 up until my last contract ended in early 2020. Around this time, I have begun to ask myself questions such as:

  • Where do I want to be in 5yrs?
  • How can I live a life without regret?
  • What do I really want to do?

I made the decision to go back to my first love, HR at the expense of a lucrative consultancy career in Financial Services where I had built up invaluable experience, it truly was a sacrifice of love. I have been fortunate to have a supportive family and my husband started calling me CPO (Chief People Officer) from this point on 😊 and this truly was encouraging as he continued to affirm that I was doing the right thing and he believed in me.

Trying to manoeuvre a career change in the middle of Covid has been no walk in the park! It’s only for the brave! No roles were forthcoming and for the few that came round, I was going head to head with those with years of experience. After months without success, I decided to join Black Professionals Scotland to support some of the amazing work they were doing and when the opportunity to build an Internship Program came up, I jumped on it.

Pleased to say that I am here now because Lisa signed up to the Internship Program and I applied for the internship role here at Purpose HR and was successful. This is the break I have been yearning for. Whatever success I go on to achieve on this career journey, I will always look back and be grateful to Lisa and Claire for the opportunity. They are my dream makers!

Purpose HR…the journey so far

I kept a journal to capture my time with Purpose HR from my very first week there. Reflecting on the last few weeks as an intern, I can certainly say every day is a school day for me. I learn something new each day. As an HR intern, I support the HR Consultants and HR Administrators. I also need to mention here how forward thinking and professional the team is.

It has been a massive culture shock as well as I have been used to working in large corporates so working here now has shown me the true meaning of working with a Team spirit. It’s a Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno (One for all, all for one) approach and well done to Lisa for introducing and cultivating this culture as it is the best ground for me to grow and flourish.

So far, I work on a wide range of tasks to gain the exposure I need to different aspects of HR. I am getting exposure from Recruitment to HR record keeping, from managing client HR system to reviewing & updating client handbook, from providing general administrative support to the HR Consultancy team to preparing, reviewing, and refreshing template client toolkits and documentation.

Two key guiding principle for me is to ensure I am supporting the team in achieving our objectives and that I am learning while doing so. Training to become an HR professional with Purpose HR is almost second to none as I am getting a wide range of experience which will not be possible if I was at a large corporate so the ball truly is in my court with regards to how much I want to learn and develop as the support mechanism is there for the taking.

e-Starting a new role (New word for your vocabulary 😊)

The initial video interview was quite new to me and I was unsure how it would turn out, but Purpose HR made this a great experience for me. I can still remember how calm and fun the interview was. Yes, you read right, my interview process was fun! My onboarding process was quick, and I was very impressed throughout the process. This is an HR consultancy after all so you cannot expect less 😊

Furthermore, starting my new role virtually was very new too. It was the first time I’d be working from home and having me fully set up to work from my home office was just so different although it went very smooth. Claire supported me on this journey days before my starting day to ensure I was ready to hit the ground running from day 1.

I met the team virtually and they made me feel very welcome. It didn’t feel like I haven’t met them in real person. Teams calls makes it very easy for me to be trained and discuss remotely. The screen sharing feature on Teams is simply fantastic and helps me to support our HR Consultants and Administrators easily. At Purpose HR, I’ve been made to feel like a true part of the family where I am appreciated and thanked for every effort made to support our valued clients.

The Future is looking bright

Being a successful HR Consultancy, the opportunities available to learn and develop myself daily within Purpose HR are endless. I have learnt so much from the very knowledgeable team, been exposed to many HR policies and attended very insightful HR related webinars within my first few weeks of working here. I am also looking to further develop myself academically and will begin to study for my CIPD qualifications shortly. I am very excited about the opportunity to further develop my skills and be an invaluable asset to Purpose HR and to our amazing clients.

Let me leave you with this thought

You owe it to yourself to be the best YOU can. You owe it to yourself to do regular life audit to ensure you are where you truly want to be so there will be no bitterness in later years. Most people want you to succeed and will go out of their way to make that possible. Ensure you build connections, have cheerleaders around you and most importantly, enjoy every single day you are here on earth as it’s not earned, it’s a privilege.