Vilash Harji: Her AN2 Career Development experience
Vilash Harji completed the Career Development Programme in late 2020. We had a question and answer session with Vilash, who shared her career development story, with thoughts on what she learnt, tips for future participants and why it’s important that we improve the economic position of women in Wales.
Your name: Vilash Harji
Where you work: General Dynamics UK
About the programme
How did you hear about the Career Development Programme?
A member of the Human Resources department at General Dynamics UK contacted me. This was the first I had heard of the Programme.
Why did you apply for the Career Development Programme?
My main reason for applying was to build my confidence and communications skills. In addition, the Programme seemed interesting in terms of learning new skills, developing a positive frame of mind and belief in one’s self. Another reason was the opportunity to attain a recognised qualification at the end of the Programme.
On what has been learnt
Has the Programme taught you anything about yourself?
The Programme helped me understand that I actually do possess a variety of skills and realise that I already have a can do attitude. I just lacked confidence, but I think this has improved since completing the Programme.
Has anything changed for you in work since completing the Programme?
Not yet, however I have moved to another project, which may provide further opportunities in the future.
Have you applied what you have learnt in your life outside of work? If so, how?
Striking a work life balance, especially during COVID and working from home. Focus more on my needs and learning to say no, when appropriate.
Your message to future participants
What would you say to someone considering applying?
The Programme is well worth doing, you learn new skills, new ways of thinking and you get a recognised qualification at the end. You also discover a lot about yourself, your strengths and existing skills, which you may not have realised previously. I have more belief in myself, I have gained confidence and feel like I’m improving in my assertiveness. You also gain a lot from the Programme by participating with like-minded people, provides you with a sense of belonging and empowerment.
What would you say to someone worried about writing assignments?
Assignments can be daunting but the course content and the ways in which to apply some of the learning is not as bad as you first think. The Chwarae Teg Team are supportive in the completion of assignments and are available to help you, with any questions, issues or concerns you may have. There is also a review of the initial submission of assignments, which will provide some feedback to enable rework your assignments where appropriate. During group discussions, you get a view of other opinions and different ways of looking at things, which also helps with completing your assignments.
On empowering women to achieve their potential
Why do you think it is important that we all work together to make Wales a fairer place for women to live and work?
In the past there have always been far more male leaders than females, this is however changing in recent times. I believe females are just as capable as males there is no difference, they are equal and should given the same opportunities to progress and develop their careers. With a positive mental attitude, confidence and determination there is no reason why females cannot develop into strong leaders. Let’s make Wales a fairer place to live and work, with a strong female representation.