My EmployAbility – Aquila Ali

24 Oct 2017

How did you find out about EmployAbility?

I heard about Employability through a friend. I was finishing up my studies and was feeling apprehensive about applying for jobs and having to disclose my disability. I worried I wouldn’t even get to the interview stage and that even if I did, once I disclosed my disability, the employer would favour someone who was well rather than someone who was ill. My friend pushed me to try and so reluctantly I did. When I saw the internship application I applied on a whim and really didn’t even expect to get an interview.

How were we able to help you?

Employability stepped in right away and have been there throughout my internship. Before I joined they emailed to ask what I needed in terms of reasonable adjustments; it was a great way of actually trying to prepare me as best as possible.  They also then rang and we spoke for ages and they reassured me how the British Council were aware of the situation and that I shouldn’t let my disability prevent me from working in London. Moreover they notified my manager of my condition so that I didn’t have to which was a great relief. Throughout the internship they kept in regular contact and it was nice knowing I could speak to someone if anything did happen.

Where are you now and what advice would you give to any disabled students who are looking for employment support?

This will probably sound cliché but the internship really did change me and my perspective on how I define my disability. I saw the disability as a hindrance and that’s the opinion I thought any employer would have. However throughout the internship I learnt I am more than capable of excelling in a working environment. Moreover I don’t need to “play it safe” and not work in London; for me working in central London was fantastic and I loved the buzz of it all. I have grown so much from the experience and even my friends and family have noticed it! After the internship I wanted a break so went on holiday for the first time since being diagnosed with my disability which was another milestone. It was great timing as I got an offer of a job for the Ministry of Justice while I was away and start that very soon.

For anyone with a disability, I would highly recommend using EmployAbility. You may not want to ask for help but end of the day it’s a way of empowering yourself. Sometimes you have to accept help and recognise that you may need a little bit more support that other people. However don’t see it as something bad. Do whatever you can to get yourself happy and confident in a working environment. Overall Employability was fantastic and I know the other people on the internship with disabilities felt the same.

At EmployAbility we work with disabled university students and graduates to ease the transition from education into employment. To take advantage of these opportunities, the first step is to register with us. You can also  contact us with any specific queries

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I think you have been excellent, you have taken the time and effort to address my specific problems with great care and attention. It has improved my job prospects as I now have a clearer understanding of what area in banking I want to work for.

RB, Finance Intern, Banking

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