Shanika first came into contact with Drive Forward through the voluntary work she did with other looked-after children. Having just finished university and struggling to find a proper job, she could sympathise with the young people she was working with.

“They told me about all the challenges they were facing whilst looking for work,” Shanika said. “Hearing their stories and being in the same boat made me very sad as, at the time, there were no agencies that I could sign post them to for support.”

For Shanika, finding out about Drive Forward and the services offered was an exciting opportunity. With support from the Drive Forward team, she was able to secure an internship in a global charity, after which she gained a place at university to complete a Masters programme. But like so many graduates, Shanika again found herself job-hunting.

She said:”I didn’t have the the skills and support needed to apply the knowledge, experience and qualifications I had gained to securing a job. So I decided to take part in the Drive Programme, practising my application and interview skills; I attended sessions and talks from different professionals, business people and motivational speakers, went to Job Club and regularly sat down with my employment consultant to talk about my aspirations and opportunities.

“During a fascinating talk presented by an HR professional, I discovered my interest for this sector and realised that my individual skillset and personal experiences would also be a suitable match for working in HR.”

Shanika recently completed her second work placement in the HR department of a big company where she gained plenty of first-hand experience and saw the challenges and developments within the sector.

“I know that without the help and support of Drive Forward, I would have never even thought about going into HR, let alone get the opportunity to complete two very insightful internships,” Shanika explained. “Although the current job market is very challenging, I know that having these two internships on my CV is a big boost and helps me to get closer to my goal of a successful career in Human Resources.

Drive Forward has not only helped me in finding a career path, but has helped me to develop my confidence and given me the  assurance and determination to move forward into the world of work.”