Onpartu Cohort: 2015
Mentor: Tomasz Karolus
Education: Masters in Geology & Cartography
Monika was working long hours as a restaurant waitress in Stratford and “desperately wanted to change something”. She tried to look for a job in her profession, but she was not successful, and this made her feel demoralised.
Monika still says she is surprised that she applied to Onpartu as her mood and energy were low at the time. Once accepted into the programme, confidence was her biggest barrier to moving forward, which alongside other career skills, she worked on with the other Onpartners and her mentor Tomasz. Although Tomasz was from the same country they spoke in English, which despite initially feeling strange was crucial preparation for job searching.
During the programme she was buddied up with fellow Onpartner Agne, who she said was always available and really supported her. We know how important it is to know who to contact first with questions and not to feel alone in such an uncertain and changing time.
The programme helped Monika in developing personally, for example through clarifying and setting her personal goals, as well as professionally, for example being exposed unexpectedly to PowerPoint and Outlook. Through the whole programme overall one of the greatest benefits was her improved confidence in looking for jobs and so belief in a more positive future for
Now, Monika visits restaurants as a diner, but she can still relate to the international women working there and would recommend the programme to them.
Following an Onpartu career planning session, Monika considered the creative route of a florist, however, with further thought she chose an easier transition and returned to her old profession instead. The programme’s focus on networking and building up contacts helped, as she secured a job with the help of a friend within four months of completing it.
It scared her at first, but Monika got her head around it and fit in quickly in her new organisation. She particularly appreciates her employers’ clarity around feedback and progression.
Monika wants to gain more skills and develop her career further. She is hoping to use her creative spirit on the side and turn it into a business from home, so watch this space!