Deciding which way to go …

August 2017

Path to the Future …

Meg is gathering experiences to help her decide which path leads     to her future  

By Megan Crouch

The path to my future is one that’s not yet completely decided, but it wasn’t always that way. Since I was young I wanted to be a speech therapist as it was a field that always fascinated me. As a chatterbox,       I found it heart breaking how some struggle to do every day that which     I take for granted.

Through school and the start of college this was my only goal, until one day my English Lecturer sat me down and made me realise that with every dream in life there is more than one way to make it a reality. With speech therapy still my end goal and university set firmly in my mind, I started my research mission.  I found that I could be a speech therapist by doing English at University rather than doing a Speech and Language Therapist degree. This would open my doors wider if my mind veers away from speech therapy in the future. It didn’t just stop there. I then saw all the other directions you can go by completing an English degree: journalism, forensic linguistics, primary school teacher. That’s when my brain cells started to scream at me just to stop looking as every single job I came across resulted in “yeah I could see myself doing that” which is obviously a problem.

So, I decided to take a gap year to decide what I wanted my goal to be.

That’s where Minerva came in. I spoke to Rhonda, Director of Minerva, and told her that I literally wanted to do everything imaginable. I like to set myself a good old, completely unreachable challenge in a ridiculous amount of time, so I knew I was going to fit everything I possibly could into the next 15 months as I could. Of course, don’t forget it’s a gap year as well so I’ve got some completely crazy probably irrational travel plans too – but I get told again and again it’s what you’re supposed to do at 18, so I will…

My first day at Minerva blew my mind – to say it was different to what I expected is an understatement. I’m 18 years old and have only ever worked at my local village pub, walking through big office doors was something very new for me. It was one of the most daunting things I’ve ever done. I couldn’t say why but I imagined walking into a room, a bit like classrooms with rows and rows of desks with people dressed in formal suits ties, neatly done up, sat tapping away at a computer. It was not like that one bit.

I started off my morning fretting about what to wear, then couldn’t work out how to get into the office block. Upon finding Reception I felt some slight relief when Wendy on the desk was a very familiar face from my job at the pub – small world! “One of the Minerva team will be down to get you” she said, immediately setting my mind at rest that I wouldn’t be hopelessly wandering corridors alone. Greeted by a bubbly face off we went down the corridor past all the big scary offices- now they just seem normal but it was my first day so I was bound to find them petrifying!

Winding up the stairs and down a hallway we reached the Minerva offices and I could feel my heart pounding just that little bit faster than normal. I stepped into a cosy looking office with stacks of biscuits to my left (spotting my favourite chocolate fingers almost immediately) and an array of smiley people sat in front of me, I could feel my once racing heart smiling back. As I was being introduced to everyone I consciously struggled to hide the fact I was completely overexcited about being in a ‘proper’ office for the first time. I sat down on one of those swirly office chairs you were never allowed to play with at school and that just topped my morning off after being there for less than five minutes.

Just a few hours into my first day I was scrolling through data bases completely astonished at seeing email addresses for National Geographic magazine, The Guardian and BBC News editors. I couldn’t believe my luck!

Now six weeks in, I feel truly welcomed into the team and already in such a short space of time I have learnt so much more than I could have ever imagined. The experience I am gaining here is invaluable, surrounded as I am by people from all sorts of backgrounds. I’m writing, researching and even tweeting about some incredibly interesting topics. I feel privileged to be able to see what really goes on in the background of all these amazing projects, which is definitely not as straight forward as I thought. Surprisingly, there is a lot that goes on behind just one ‘simple’ tweet or press release.

In the short time I have been at Minerva, I’ve grown a lot as a person. Nearly every day I’ve learnt how to use a different piece of software, or learnt about a new topic. I’ve started to develop my skills in writing to fit a variety of different audiences from all walks of life, whether professionals or the wider public, as well as learning to adapt to the hugely varied tasks throughout the day, all so very different. I can’t wait to learn even more – a cliché I know, but true!

The path to my future is definitely still in the construction phase, as the more I’m learning and enjoying the more I’m questioning my choice of end goal. However, here at Minerva I am thoroughly enjoying being on that path with its intriguing signposts and potential diversions.