MARIANTHI’S 6 WEEK UPDATE: HOW IT’S BEEN WORKING AT WOMEN’S BUSINESS STATION AS FUNDING AND RESEARCH ASSISTANT SO FAR
Our Funding and Research Assistant Marianthi reflects on her first couple of months working with the Women’s Business Station team, how the government’s Kickstarter scheme helped her find the role and what the future holds for the jewellery designer.
I first heard about the Funding and Research Assistant job at Women’s Business Station through my universal credit coach who thought it would be a great fit for me. The job was run through the Kickstarter Scheme, whose aim is to upskill through employment. At the time, this role daunted me as it sounded too out of my comfort zone, but the idea of working for a social enterprise benefitting others really appealed to me. After looking into WBS, I was sure I wanted the job, as their ideals really resonated with me. I loved the prospect of empowering women by giving them the tools they needed for financial independence. I am passionate about shopping small and local, so I was keen to be a part of helping others set up their own businesses.
I graduated during lockdown last year in Jewellery and Metal Design at Duncan of Jordanstone, which was difficult as everything felt like it ground to a halt. Losing the close connections that I had formed with classmates felt like a major loss. All of the exhibitions, trade shows and opportunities that would have continued our momentum from studying into our future careers felt like it had dissipated. After university, I began setting up a small jewellery business from home. While I love creating, I found it really hard to keep motivated as I felt isolated without a support network. I missed the interactions with other creatives- having similar passions and being able to bounce ideas off of one another.
Having started working at WBS six weeks ago, it immediately felt like the supportive environment I had been missing. I love the emphasis they put on creating a community and strengthening relationships, and only wish I’d heard of them sooner. I work closely with Angie, CEO of WBS, and her passion and drive is truly inspirational and contagious… as is the laughter!
The first few weeks I began by familiarising myself with organisations that aligned with our aims. I created a dashboard for the relevant funds, researched topics that concerned women and their barriers, analysed data from our surveys and took control of file organisation. I already have experience of working in an administrative role, which gave me good backing for this. A month in, I assisted Angie in writing the first big fund I’d been a part of, which was a great sense of accomplishment. I have felt like I am floundering at times, but the team are always very quick to reassure and bolster me. I now know I’m an invaluable member of the team.
I can’t wait to see what the future of WBS holds. With exciting new initiatives underway, it’s a very exciting time to be working here, there is never a dull moment! The team are extremely driven; always pushing for bigger and better ways of levelling the playing field for gender equality.
Working here has felt like a big step in my progression. I have learnt a lot already from the role and from the fantastic range of courses and workshops that I have access to. I am continuing to make jewellery on the side and am massively grateful for this community which really pushes you to achieve your full potential.
Get in touch with Marianthi via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out Marianthi’s incredible jewellery here: https://www.instagram.com/marianthi.jewellery/
Credit: Photograph taken by Shonagh Kelly