The biggest decision of my life
A single decision triggered a series of events that have led to me being able to say that I'm a digital product manager at DLG.
That decision was to withdraw my UCAS (university) application without first consulting with my parents.
Having parents that were born and raised in Uganda, there’s a distinct difference in the way we think about education. My parents saw university as my only choice which meant that for me to withdraw my application - let alone do it without first talking to them about it - was a big deal.
There was a huge amount of pressure on me to prove it was the right decision.
At the time, I was pursuing a career in football while working in retail for a football club. Unfortunately, the dream of becoming a professional footballer faded away.
Meanwhile, I had become increasingly frustrated with my work life. I was on a zero-hour contract, and felt I had more to offer than the mundane retail tasks given to me.
I was told I could stay for as long as I wanted, so I did
I reached out to my older brother for advice, who recommended The Prince’s Trust as one of his friends used it as a springboard to get a job at a major UK bank. So, I thought, “why not?” I filled out an online form for a programme called Get Into Technology, run by Amazon Web Services in association with The Prince’s Trust and QA.
A couple of days later I got a call inviting me to a taster day for the course, and from there everything just seemed to fall into place.
I loved what I was learning and found a new calling within the tech world.
As a part of the course, I did two weeks of work experience here in Digital. I enjoyed what I learnt and managed to get invited back for extended work experience. I was told I could stay for as long as I wanted, so I did.
Two months later I was still at DLG and was offered a one-year contract.
I’m nearing the end of my contract, but would love to stay longer and continue enjoying this journey.
June 2019 update - my story continues
Great news! I’m still here and I’m still smiling. The discussions around what was next for me were all extremely positive. I was again fortunate enough to be rewarded for the work I’d put in with an offer of a permanent role as a business analyst in the Online Servicing team.
Fast forward six months and I was incredibly proud to become product owner on the Online Servicing team. We laugh together, constructively critique each other’s ideas and deliver the work we say we’ll deliver. Best of all, the team feels very much like a family, so it’s easy waking up every morning to come in to work. I’m happy!
Just wait, because there will be much more to come.