Guest blog by Nicola Denton
What can I say about OH’s Catalyst course that hasn’t already been said in numerous tweets, comments and blogs. It really is a fantastic course that I would recommend to anyone looking to start or progress in the digital industry. I learned lots over the 10 weeks and felt very inspired and motivated by the end.
This time last year I was feeling very lost about where to go next with my career. My contract at my previous job wasn’t renewed for various reasons which knocked my confidence a little. But I decided that this was my chance to go out and do something new that I would enjoy. I applied for several jobs, emailed lots of local companies, took on voluntary projects and even enrolled on a college course (which I left after 6 weeks because I was “over qualified”) but they led me nowhere and I was left feeling very low and confused.
But one night whilst scrolling through Facebook I noticed an ad for the Catalyst course, I read the description and instantly knew it was right for me.
From the first day I knew I had made the right decision to apply. Robyn and Andy were so welcoming and friendly and the other students were all just as nervous as me! Throughout the 10 weeks we all bonded and could see a difference in each other from when we started.
One of the things I liked the most about the course was how we were encouraged and not pressured to step out of our comfort zones. This was something I knew I had to work on. In the first few sessions we learnt a lot about ourselves and each other and it was comforting to know that I wasn’t the only one struggling with my career and confidence. I had lots of business cards in my pocket so I took a risk and started giving them out after nearly every session. Apparently I became quite famous amongst the mentors! My risk paid off too because I got some freelance work with digital marketing agency bmicro. A proud moment!
The course also gave me better understanding of the digital industry, I didn’t realise how much I never knew about! We explored a variety of different sectors including project management, digital marketing, web development, branding, technology, etc. The practical sessions were fun and I gained some new skills from them. The mentor talks were really interesting and I made pages of notes! The studio tours gave us an insight into real work environments, a few times I said to myself “I could see me working here”.
Overall this course has been amazing. For me it came along just when I needed it most and I have gotten so much from it, even my family have said they have noticed a change in me. Robyn and Andy’s passion for wanting to help young people with their careers is clear. They had huge faith in all of us and their encouragement is what inspired me the most. It’s an excellent experience for anyone to take part in whether it’s to boost your confidence, learn new skills, get some connections, etc.
The course gave me back the confidence I had lost in myself and it was like I had been thrown a lifeline.
I am eternally grateful to Robyn and Andy for that.
Check out my website which includes blog posts from each week of #OHCatalyst: nicoladenton.wordpress.com