Rosa works with a social enterprise that supports young people and adults looking to strengthen skills that are key for success in all areas of life. We admire the passion she has for her work as well as the fact that instead of taking the conventional path, she found a job that she loves.
Please tell us your story, what keeps you busy? What got you to where you are today? and what are the most important things you’ve learnt along the way?
I’ve always loved people and numbers. When I was little, I thought I’d have to choose one or the other; I assumed numbers would win and I would grow up to work in a bank! Fast forward to today and I’m now Director of Development for a social enterprise called the Skills Builder Partnership. We lead a group of over 750 schools, colleges, impact-organisations and employers enabling them to support young people and adults to build eight essential skills that are key for success in all walks of life: speaking, listening, creativity, problem solving, staying positive, aiming high, leadership and teamwork.
My role is split into two parts: firstly, building relationships with businesses, helping them to develop the skills of individuals through their outreach, recruitment and development programmes. The second part of my role is working with my fantastic team to ensure the financial stability of our organisation. In short, it’s working with people and numbers… my ten-year-old self would be very proud!
Along the way the biggest lessons I have learnt are:
1. Sometimes it’s okay to dive in head first – a few years ago I put myself forward to complete a diploma in fundraising because the opportunity became available. Without knowing it, that decision set the wheels in motion for the next steps in my career!
2. Most problems can be fixed by talking them through.
3. Be good everyone; they deserve your kindness and you never know when you might meet them again!
- In what ways are you committed to making the world a better place? What are your ways of giving back to the planet?
I hope that by supporting young people to thrive and reach their full potential that I am helping to make the world a better place. It’s great when we get to see six-year-olds clearly demonstrate how they were able to use problem solving strategies to navigate an issue or college students being more confident at interview because they understand how to showcase their skills to an employer.
In my home life, my husband and I have been actively trying to east less meat over the last few months, especially as lockdown has given us more time to cook together and try new things. We’ve been amazed at how many vegan alternatives actually taste as good if not better than their meat counterpart!
- What do you love most about your culthread piece?
The hood! It’s so warm and soft and the perfect shade of blue. I’m amazed that it’s made from recycled materials!
Even though the hood and cuffs are really dramatic, the jacket itself is casual and really practical; it’ll be easy to dress it up or down all winter long.
There are four great pockets (WIN!) plus two secret zip pockets in the lining which are perfect for stowing a mask, tissues or snacks. The lining itself is gorgeous and also has these little toggles inside to pull in the waist so you can have a perfect fit. I’m not sure a jacket could get any better!
- What are the things in your life that set your soul on fire? What sparks your passion?
I love all kinds of music and I’d never turn down a musical. There’s something really wholesome about people bursting into song as they go about their business!
I always wanted to learn an instrument but didn’t stick with anything as a child. Then, in summer 2017, I came across a carnival band named South London Samba at the Lambeth Country Show. The drums were incredible; you didn’t just hear or feel the music, you became part of it. I was hooked! I joined the band a few months later and haven’t looked back. Drumming is a fantastic brain and body challenge, brilliant for de-stressing and the perfect way to just lose yourself. Playing with the band at carnival, sports events or just a regular practice always gives me a lift. Seeing the joy the music brings to others is a huge bonus too!
- What advice would you give to a young woman who wants to explore the same career path you’ve taken?
If you’re thinking about going into fundraising or partnership management, try to find an organisation with a mission that you’re truly passionate about. I can spend hours each day speaking with or writing to partners about the importance of our work and if I didn’t believe in it I would find it really difficult to get others to.
Once you’re in an organisation, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through at work! The key to building great partnerships is making real connections with people and it’s hard to do that if you’re trying to be someone else.