I hate goodbyes. They are never easy, but they are particularly difficult when you work in a close-knit team with people you care about. Today, I am picking up the Gradconsult quill for the last time and signing off duty. I’m leaving the green Sheffield pastures and heading for the big smoke to start my career in the music industry. I’m left feeling both excited about what is to come and sad to leave the team who over the last 18 months of my journey have become more than mentors, coaches and colleagues.
583 days ago, I, Chikka, a fresh-faced grad with a love for music and a proud owner of a Desmond (where are all my 2:2’s) was given a shot. The Gradconsult team took me under their nurturing wings and opened my eyes to a world of work that was stretching, varied and supportive. With the full support of my team, I was trusted to lead projects, encouraged to run with my ideas and follow my interests. These experiences have pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me to grow both personally and professionally, and for this, I thank you.
Two words aren’t enough to capture how appreciative and thankful I am for the time we spent working together, but the greatest lesson Gradconsult taught me is having the courage to be my ‘whole’ self. The team is the epitome of individuality and is made up of remarkable individuals with different personal interests, academic backgrounds, work experiences etc., but this is never considered to be a bad thing – it is celebrated, quite literally with jazz hands!
For those of you who know me music is always on my brain and I was supported by Rebecca, Mike, Kylie, Gabi and Neddy in my decision to jump without a concrete plan and make the dream a reality. I wasn’t greeted with hostility when I finally accepted what every ounce of my being was screaming - “I want to work in music”, instead, I was reassured and supported. Since handing in my notice, I received career coaching, was told to focus on the projects that were relevant to where I felt I needed to be, and encouraged to volunteer to get industry experience, but above all, I was constantly reminded to stay true to myself.
I combined my experiences with this guidance and it paid off! The last week has been a whirlwind and I am pleased to announce as of next month I will be starting my career in the music industry with Universal Music Group. Many will see my situation as the exception and not the rule, but this is a prime example of why finding the right cultural fit for you is key! If I hadn’t worked in an environment that fostered honest and supportive working relationships, I wouldn’t have gained the experiences that have nurtured me into the person I am today.
Thank you, team GC, and for the record, this isn’t a goodbye but a ‘see you later’ 😊!