Monthly Archives: May 2018
23 May 2018 - 10:22 am Leadership in Practice – Lessons Learned
On 18th April 2018, I delivered and led my first event; Enterprise 101! To begin with, the participants were asked to list the words that they associate with ‘Enterprise’. Here’s what they thought! Continue reading “Leadership in Practice – Lessons Learned” »
This year, whenever I met someone knew, the conversations went like this:
Person A: So what do you do?
Me: Well, I’m doing a full time Masters, but I also have three part time jobs.
Person A: Oh my, three jobs?
Me: Yes, but I don’t work a lot of hours overall. I still have time to study and to occasionally go to the cinema and theatre.
Person A: So what are the jobs?
Me: Well I work as an ambassador, I work in a coffee shop and I also work as an Enterprise Intern.
Person A: What’s that? The intern thing, I mean.
And this would be the moment when I would have to take a deep breath because this job is not a one-sentence description type of job. Even though I could technically describe it through one sentence: developing and supporting projects. But what does that sentence mean exactly?
A few weeks back, I organized an event called the Skills Exhibition. There were two parts of the event, a skills exhibition and a ‘How to Start a Venture’ Workshop. For the workshop, we invited two entrepreneurs, Will from Mak Tok and Mihaela from Research Retold. Will went out of his way to help me organize the workshop without me asking for help which I was extremely grateful for.
I first met Will in the USE coworking space where he introduced himself and told me that he sells sambal… which was something very familiar to me. Sambal is a chilli paste that people from Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Brunei and Singapore eat almost everything with. However, after multiple attempts at making it, I am still unable to perfect it. Therefore, Will became my hero. I now have a solution to a quick dinner of rice mixed with the Mak Tok’s Signature Sambal and the rice can even be substituted with quinoa or couscous.
Recently, Will organized a birthday party for Mak Tok to simultaneously launch the full range of Mak Tok’s sambals. Attendees were treated to traditional Malaysian performances, guzhen music and food! The food spread was separated from where the sambal was but many of us ended up putting some sambal on our plates to have it with the food – it was that good. Continue reading “Mak Tok: Introducing Culture through Chilli Paste” »
21 May 2018 - 9:08 am The power of really listening, a lesson from Spill
Sometimes, we can be terrible listeners. When friends come to us for advice, we often reply by trying to fix their problems or offer our own personal experience of the situation. I recently started volunteering on an online support forum for mental health. You start by having a short course in how to be a better listener – then you get thrown in the deep end!
The main thing that you learn is how to actively listen to people. Active and reflective listening involves truly hearing and understand what the person that you’re speaking to has said, and then working with them to explore that more. This is contrasted to simply putting across your own opinion or thinking about the next story that you can say.
This skill is why counsellors and other mental health support people are so valuable. They allow you to explore your own feelings and emotions by actively listening.
Since finding out how we can be pretty terrible listeners I’ve really tried to become a bit better in life. It can be easy to slip back into the habit of waiting for the next time that you can speak but it allows for much better conversations when someone can really explore what they are thinking about.
Since starting Spill I’ve learn more than I could imagine about mental health. Because the subject has been taboo for so long, the skills that are used haven’t been valued as highly as they could be. We’re on a mission to normalise talking therapy so that everyone can have someone to talk to. Learning to be better listeners is definitely a part of that journey!
14 May 2018 - 2:50 pm Challenger banks, orange credit cards and Monzo
Aside my Masters, I have three part time jobs (which accumulate to less hours than you would think) but they help with paying the rent (and the cinema and theatre) . One of my employers is Coffee Revolution in the SU. And whenever I’m on the till taking orders, I start noticing more and more orange credit cards. At first, I would ask: is that a Monzo card? And when met with a positive response, I would get really excited to meet a Monzo user. Now, it’s just becoming the order of the day. But what is Monzo do you ask?
Monzo is a challenger bank and a tech startup. It’s a newly established enterprise that aims to compete with the longer established banks in the country (Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds). It distinguishes itself through its focus on technology and online data. Monzo is an app-bank. Transactions happen online, the app has interesting features such as freezing your card if you’ve lost it, or saving money into separate pots. It also has free costs to use abroad.
The first event that I was involved in was Pitch Club which was then followed by Pitch Your Way to £1k. Before I get into deep details, I would like to firstly just say how amazing these two events were. People pitch a random idea for 1 minute, they get a free drink and on top of it all, they win prizes (cash money) if they have the best ideas. It was amazing how someone can enter the pitching competition without really having anything to lose. Being it my first time being on the other side of the table for something like this, I’m going to share with you the things that I’ve learnt.
Learning to identify what ideas are viable and can be developed.
For both events, one of my responsibility was to become a so called ‘Dragon’ which means that I had to listen to people’s ideas and identify who had a better idea. I can assure you that it is not as easy as it sounds. We had a judges’ matrix with us, however, we knew that in the end, these ideas would have to be developed for the next round so other factors were added into contributing to the way we selected the winners.