“A degree is something I have always wanted, and I am so proud of myself for finally going for it in my thirties.”
When I left high school, aged 18, it seemed that everyone around me had a clear vision of their careers and passions. I found myself with a lot of different interests but simply no real calling. I worked at a call centre, as a cleaner, a receptionist and a management assistant – all in the space of a few years. My wanderings were not confined to employment, and I decided to move from my home country of Belgium to London. Imperial was the first place I worked, and I was here for a few years in the role of executive assistant.
During the pandemic, I struggled with my mental health and felt like I was failing in life. When scrolling through LinkedIn and other social media, it seemed like everyone was doing incredible things or changing the world. I wished I had a special talent or a skill that could make a difference. Friends or colleagues would tell me I am organised and caring but I thought these talents to be boring and nothing special. When colleagues would ask me about my career journey, I always felt defensive and started with: “I only have a high school degree but here I am, working in London!”