Yasemin Kose

Name Yasemin Kose
Company Unilever
Location Virtual
Last Known Job Role  People Experience Coordinator

Some young people aren’t even aware of the opportunities out there, if you think you’re doing your best to reach them – do more!”

Yasemin was nominated for the Rising Star Award at our Youth Employability awards!

What is your background? i.e name where you’re from, and what barriers you’ve faced?

“I’m from a town in Kent called Tunbridge Wells and I also spent some of my childhood in Turkey and consequently, there was a lot of back and forth until my family decided to settle in Kent for me to start secondary school. In my final year of sixth form I lost my dad which was extremely hard, he was like a best friend to me and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through, but I decided to channel my grief into my school work so I could go to University and get a degree to make him proud and I did just that. I went to Kingston University and graduated in 2018, I grieved a lot during my degree and at times I wanted to quit because it got so hard, but I tried my best to get through it to make both of my parents proud of me. That being said, I did also enjoy the experience and I learnt a lot about life through having to be independent.”

How did you get involved with Movement to Work?

“After I graduated, I was completely lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I lacked the passion to pursue what I studied and I was stuck. I spent a year trying all avenues of internships that were linked to my degree but nothing stuck. I went into the year 2020 with the mindset of ‘this year I’m going to say YES to every opportunity that is offered to me’ and then the Movement to Work opportunity popped up. I was having a conversation with my job coach, and he mentioned Unilever is involved in this scheme and advised me to sign up so I said ‘yes’.”

 How has the programme helped you in terms of your employment journey?

“At the time when I took part in the programme, I had lost a lot of confidence and self-esteem, but participating in this programme allowed me to gain that confidence and self-esteem back. I was introduced to a function I’d never considered so I made an effort to learn as much as I could and network with as many people so I could learn more about careers in a business like Unilever. It really opened my eyes and taught me that I am good enough and I am fully capable of working here. Every day it feels like I’m getting closer to being fully content with where my journey currently is and it is such a relief! I’m incredibly grateful for the Movement to Work programme, without it I wouldn’t be where I am today and even now, 2 years after the programme, I’m still benefitting from the opportunity!”

Do you have any advice for other young people in a similar position to you before your MtW journey?

“Only you can make a change, don’t just wait for opportunities to be presented to you, go out and search for them. Take ownership of your own future, you don’t need to decide on your full career yet, but experience and especially varied experience is the key to figuring out what you love or enjoy doing. Say yes to everything that is presented to you, no matter how much your inner self is telling you not to trust me you will not regret that opportunity! Prepare yourself to network, the key to gaining knowledge about different areas of a business is to talk and interact with as many people as possible – be open-minded and interested to learn.”

 What would you say to employers to encourage them to join/ give young NEET people a work opportunity?

“Knowing what you want to do in life isn’t always very clear, there’s so much pressure on young people to immediately know what career path they want to take, and sometimes it ends up with people becoming lost, uninspired and unmotivated. It is important, as an employer, to use all means you have and reach those youngsters to show them the variety of choices out there. Give them those opportunities to discover what inspires them, you never know they might end up being a real talent and an integral part of your business!”