Jameela – Responsible Business Executive at Slaughter & May

Jameela Chowdhury (pictured second from left in the above photo) was one of our Spring 2021 CSR Eagles who was placed at Slaughter and May, in the Responsible Business department, as ‘Responsible Business and Inclusion Assistant.’

Jameela’s placement went so well that she applied for the role of Responsible Business Executive and was successful in her application. Jameela therefore completed the internship and was promoted to the full-time position of Responsible Business Executive.

It is always an absolute success when one of our Eagles has their placement extended or, even better, are taken on as a full time employee – this is of course the ultimate aim of the programme.

We are grateful that Jameela was willing to write about her experience for us:

Tell us a bit about your background, including your education and what you wanted to do as a career:
I studied BA Human Geography at Queen Mary University, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I have always loved Geography and all that it encompasses – science, politics, history and more. But, I have never known my answer to the dreaded question “what do you want to do?”. I knew I liked Geography and working with young people, but that was it. So, when it came to applying for jobs I applied for entry-level positions in a variety of industries, from tech to non-profits to publishing.

How did you hear about the Eagles programme?
I came across the Eagles programme through my family. My aunt had completed the programme and thoroughly enjoyed her experience, and is still in contact with her cohort over a decade later. So my aunt and my mum encouraged me to apply. I was hesitant at first as I had received 20 job application rejections at this point and was not looking forward to another rejection. But I applied anyway and I am so glad that I did.

Tell us about your experience of the Eagles programme
The application process was very straightforward and the CV and interview training helped me feel prepared and confident when it came to the interviews. If it wasn’t for the thorough training and preparation I would not have been as assured in my abilities and potential. It was also great to have my cohort as a support network, especially when beginning the internship as I felt like a small fish in a big ocean. But knowing we were all doing this together and learning as we went along was very reassuring.

How was your experience of the internship/placement?
My placement experience was very positive and challenged me to take responsibility out of my ‘comfort onion’ (as my manager called it!). For example, I went from supporting the delivery of our Excellerators Work Insight Scheme, to leading on the planning and delivery of the scheme. It was very scary but satisfying to see what I could do. The supportive and understanding environment of my team made it easier to take on and accomplish this challenge. I was often reminded to ask questions and reach out for help, which helped me feel at ease.

Do you have any tips for others thinking about applying to the Eagles programme?
Do your research! Search what interests you about CSR and why. What does it mean to your own personal and professional goals? How have you benefitted from CSR initiatives? How can you fit in and stand out in this sector? What can you bring? Even if like me you don’t know what you want, it is important to know what you like and what you are good at.

Assess your own skills and experiences and apply thinking not just about what you can currently do, but what you are capable of doing in the future. Your potential and ambition is integral here.

Do you have any tips for companies thinking of taking part in the Eagles programme?
I definitely recommend companies take part, this graduate scheme finds real potential and cultivates it into a valuable asset with the thorough training and extensive support. In particular, I found that the training recall days placed throughout the internship really helped me refresh my skills and apply them in my role.

What are your plans for the future?
I still don’t know the answer to ‘what do you want to do?’. But, I do know that I am enjoying my role and hope to continue progressing my skills and responsibilities as the Responsible Business Executive at Slaughter and May.

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