One a day 

[comments from my colleagues at work]

Monday: “Russia did well in Syria. Yes I agree there is more collateral damage than they let on but the benefits outweigh that.”

Tuesday: “I feel sorry for pedophiles. Watching child porn is the same as watching murder videos online. Would you get arrested for the second? And anyway, watching porn is a victimless crime. It’s their sexual orientation and it’s unfair that we see them as monsters without giving them a chance.” 

Wednesday: “I don’t think the governement have gone far enough with it all [PREVENT]. If it saves even one person’s life then it’s just unfortunate other people are wrongly accused along the way.” 

Thursday: “Rihanna is damaged goods. Well didn’t she get beaten up by Chris Brown. That makes her damaged.” 

Friday: alhamdulillah I can spend the day recovering at home.  

Dear future me 

In just a few days I will enter a world I don’t know. The corporate world. And I’m terrified. Frightened of the place, the people, the money, but more so of what I could become. So here’s a reminder to future me, for the times the present me is not so familiar anymore.

Be You

You’re adaptable. You’ve been able to fit in your whole life, being in but feeling out. But you’ve found who you are now. Know the world you’re entering and know that it is not you. So when you’re trying to mix in, don’t forget how happy you felt to find your cause and faith, how much you care and how important your values are to you. Continue reading

Formal wear

In a few weeks I start my graduate scheme in the corporate world. I don’t want to name the company but it is one of the Big Four. Now there are many fears – will I be able to make friends, will I be able to handle the workload, will I fit in? But the one that’s at the front of my mind: what will I wear?!

What I look like – trying to look serious

I wear a hijab and long flow-y clothes. This includes jilbabs, maxi-dresses and skirts. That makes things tough but doable – I am just continuously stocking up on suitable items as and when a store adds them to their line. Except I am also petite. And I mean really petite. Size 4-6 (UK) and 5 ft. Many stores don’t even stock that size and when they do, they’re too long. Skirts are easy enough to tailor. But what about shirts and blazers? I am forever looking like I’ve been engulfed, like a child trying on her daddy’s suit. My only solution is to fold in the sleeves and opt to buy fitted styles – which are still big but I think I can pull them off.  Continue reading

Lefty or a Righty?

Which brain side do you use the most? A Mercedes Benz advertisement. 

Our society places the left side of the brain on a pedestal. Students able to teach Maths, Chemistry and Physics receive a grant – getting paid to gain the teaching qualification whilst everyone needs to pay for the same course. Universities often offer more research projects in these areas – and those that are able to offer more research are considered leading institutions. Students excelling in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths, Medicine and Maths) are seen as the “brainy kids”.

Considered “brainy” even though the other subjects require just as much “brain power” – but perhaps require the other side. For instance, not many STEMM students can paint, write poetry or even an extended essay.  Continue reading

Old Boys Club

My university organises regular career events, inviting alumni back to talk about their experiences in the big bad world, providing little tips and tricks, and allowing the space to network. Unfortunately, the majority of the panellists, sometimes all, are white.

So I worked with the careers team to hold termly events where the entire panel will be alumni who are also people of colour. Everyone would be welcome to the event, but it would also provide an opportunity for students of colour to ask specific questions that white graduates just do not understand or have expertise in.

The first event was a huge success, with over 100 students attending and received very positive feedback. So, we were very excited for the next event – which would be focusing on graduate schemes. The day of the event came and as I welcomed the guests in, a white man approached me, introducing himself as a panellist. Continue reading

Handing over 

Today I begin my handover period – a few weeks where my team show our successors the ropes before we move on with our own lives. (I work in an environment where people are elected into their position, so there’s an annual handover period).

I packed up my desk – all the postcards I had received full of encouragement and wisdom, books I had collected, ticket stubs and event brochures, photos, and my slippers. Memories I had forgotten about resurfaced and I felt my first all consuming sadness to be leaving this place. A place where I had learnt so much, grown so much.

Continue reading