Diversity, equity and inclusion
We believe better health for all is within our reach and by becoming a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organisation together we can achieve this.
In the second of the Foundation's 'Drivers of Change' occasional blog series in support of our Associate programme, we hear from Flora Boa who joined us over the summer as part of the 10,000 Black Interns initiative.
In the second of the Foundation’s ‘Drivers of Change’ occasional blog series in support of our Associate programme, we hear from Flora Boa who joined us over the summer as part of the 10,000 Black Interns initiative. Life as Graduates is a project spearheaded by Flora, to help new graduates fast-track their way into the working world.
As part of her time at the Foundation, Flora co-produced a video and in her own words shares her experiences, accompanied by a range of interviews with friends and colleagues. The end result is a video survival guide of six top tips, to help new graduates prepare for life after university, aptly named ‘Life as Graduates’.
My name is Flora Boa and before this project I was terrified of graduation. New relationship dynamics, starting a professional career and understanding who you are outside of education. These were all areas which I had no idea how to navigate.
As a 2nd year student, I’ve often found having to dedicate immense amounts of time (sometimes at the expense of my degree) trying to figure out my post-graduation plan.
This led me to become the founder of two start-ups Kasaie and Future Minds and to intern at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation through the 10,000 Black Interns Programme. As a tech and social entrepreneur, I found these opportunities to challenge my creativity, uplift others and celebrate minority talent extremely satisfying. However, working to access these opportunities was partially driven by my fear of not being able to navigate the working world.
This is why this project is so special. I wanted to lighten the pressure of graduation for others. I did this by trying to understand the worries of those also on this journey and asking for tips from those who have been there before. I canvassed views of family, influencers and colleagues at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation and collated them to create – ‘The Survival Guide to Graduation’.
Be up front about how you’re feeling. Are you confused about your career choices? Do you know what you want to do but not sure how to get there? Do you suffer from imposter syndrome? The more open you are about challenges you are facing with your mentors or supervisors, the easier it will be for them to guide you in how to overcome them.
Invite people into your life and your story, so you can benefit from their wisdom, advice and support. Be authentic, be yourself. You’re young, with lots to bring to the table as well as lots to learn – and that’s alright.
You’re young, with lots to bring to the table as well as lots to learn – and that’s alright.
Take a look at programmes that offer internships, apprenticeships, training programmes, such as the 10,000 Black Interns Programme to get workplace experience. The opportunity to work with Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation through 10,000 Black Interns programme helped me gain experience, perspective and contribute to the work of the organisation. Opportunities like this can help prepare you for the real world, job market and provide great experience.
The opportunity to work with Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation through 10,000 Black Interns programme helped me gain experience, perspective and contribute to the work of the organisation. Opportunities like this can help prepare you for the real world, job market and provide great experience.
Putting huge pressure on yourself won’t help you work out your career path. This may take time and there is support out there. Take it one step at a time and try not to worry too much.
Becoming a graduate can feel overwhelming at times. Lean on those who you’re closest to for support. Your friends may just be the key to get your through this.
Know yourself and work with it. Don’t ignore who you are and whatever it is that ignites a fire within you. This may not be something that helps you pay the bills immediately, but perhaps think about joining a network or a committee for something you love, while your career path is taking form.
I have also created a downloadable guide with these tips and extra resources for new and current students to help you on your journey.
All the best,
Thank you to Flora for sharing your experience with us. Views expressed are Flora’s own.
*Our Associate’s programme is an important part of the Foundations commitment to being a more inclusive, equitable and diverse employer and organisation. It forms part of our DEI Legacy workstream, which aims to build a fairer future for communities in the boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark and to drive more equitable health.
Part of our DEI Legacy work is to nurture a diverse talent pipeline of staff and encourage people with a range of different expertise and backgrounds into the Foundation. It includes a strong focus on people with experience of inequalities the Foundation seeks to tackle and the places we work closest with.
This programme supports the Foundation’s core mission of health equity for all, supports our commitment to DEI and the sector’s ability to tackle health inequality in the long term.
Flora took part in the 10,000 Black Interns programme in summer 2022. Find out more about the programme here.