Hello! I’m Faten Bawadekji an optimistic, Interior Design Graduate, and Marketing Assistant for IoT Horizon. I wanted to share my journey from graduating in Interior Design ➡ to undertaking a 6-month Kickstart Placement during a global pandemic ➡ to accepting a permanent employment contract from IoT Horizon, an Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions Provider based in the North West.

Where do I start? So I graduated from the University of Salford in Interior Design and like many other graduates, I struggled to find a role within a competitive industry. The global pandemic and business uncertainty also impacted my job prospects, as it did for 200,000+ people out of work for over 6 months. It was a stressful time for so many young people, two-thirds of which experienced a job loss (ONS, 2021).

Despite the obstacles in my way, I decided to take on the challenge and do what I could to pursue my career regardless…

Interior Design had so many transferrable skills that I decided I needed to pivot. At University I had trained in Graphics Design, had used 3D printers, knew how to tell a story, and could write at an academic level. I started to research careers that my skillset would suit and I came across Marketing roles through the Government Kickstart Scheme. The Scheme provided funding to employers who could create new jobs for young people at risk of long-term unemployment. It was an opportunity for me to Kickstart my career, get work experience and build my connections.

“As the Gateway to Kickstart for the East Lancashire region, we believe Kickstart is one of the ways to ensure growth and low risk recruitment for our businesses. As a small business, IoT Horizon Ltd fit perfectly with the spirit of the scheme; to instil knowledge and skills in our young people and reduce the region’s unemployment.”

Jen Hill, Kickstart Gateway, East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce

Due to the fast-paced nature of IoT Horizon, during my 6-month placement, I developed my skills in so many areas including Digital Marketing, Product Design, Video Editing, Communication, and Strategy. I’ve helped to establish a product design department, pitched my ideas, worked on the marketing strategy, designed user-interfaces (UI) customer dashboards for the Software Development Team and so much more…

Faten and IoT Horizon were one of our first successful matches and epitomise precisely what the scheme was created to achieve; Faten has learnt new skills, is more employable and independent of benefits, with a bright future, whilst the business has gained a valuable team member and extra pair of hands with all of their costs covered. It’s exactly what we wanted to support when we agreed to become a Gateway.

Jen Hill, Kickstart Gateway, East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce

The Kickstart Scheme gave me the opportunity to work with an innovative technology company that believed in what I have to offer and gave me the confidence to thrive. The opportunities for me are endless and very exciting! I’m looking forward to starting my full-time position as a Marketing Assistant and Product Designer for the business.

The Kickstart Scheme was a new employer initiative announced during COVID-19. We needed support in Marketing, and thought it would be a win-win opportunity to support a young person into a job placement. Faten, had an Interior Design background but was skilled in Graphic Design, Marketing , and she had endless creativity. Faten has been instrumental to our business during the 6 months, so much so that we just don’t want to let her go. We have offered her a full-time position and look forward to seeing her grow in the role. As an employer, we would recommend the scheme!

Niamh Allen, Sales and Marketing Director, IoT Horizon Ltd

Having finished the Kickstart placement, my advice would be…go for it. There are so many opportunities for young people to thrive, but if you’re still unsure feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

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