As part of BSC’s ongoing initiative to reward and recognise excellence and innovation within our employees, we are providing an opportunity for colleagues from across our business to be part of Lead5050, an organisation that empowers women in education. We are very proud to announce the candidates from within BSC that have been selected.
As well as this, four ‘BSC Leading Lights’ have been selected whose applications really stood out from the rest. These four women will head to Berlin in November to attend the Women in Education awards. We caught up with one of our ‘Leading Lights,’ Giulia Mella, a Student Experience Facilitator at British Study Centres Manchester.
What made you want to join Lead 5050?
Growing up in Italy, I was constantly surrounded by the idea that women are meant to stay at home and look after their children and family, as this is considered to be their only real duty and responsibility. Having a job or a career is considered an extra, certainly not their primary focus.
Looking back to those days now, I am so proud and lucky to be a woman who has worked hard for herself and for her career and to be working in an environment where women are powerful, supportive of themselves and others and, most importantly, they are considered to be worth just as much as any other man is. I know, however, I am one of the lucky ones. I know that many other women do not have a supportive and equal work environment. I have a lot to learn still, which is why I am particularly interested in the mentoring scheme they offer, both to learn and be inspired by other women in our industry, but also to make sure that, one day, I can inspire other women like me.
What’s the most exciting project you’ve worked on so far at BSC?
The most exciting project for me so far has been Schoolworks and being trained as a Super User. I am usually terrible with technology, but receiving the training, seeing how much the program could help with our daily tasks and being able to help other colleagues to make the most of it has been very interesting for me. It was also the first time I truly felt part of BSC as a wider company, rather than just part of the Manchester school, which is what truly made me love the project.
What do you most enjoy about working at BSC?
The people around me are what makes me come into work every day with a big smile on my face. Not living in my home country, it is very important for me to feel at home, and this is exactly what I get at BSC. Both staff and students create the most comforting and welcoming working environment and I love to be able to contribute to that, to make sure that everybody feels ‘at home’, just like I do.
What’s been your biggest career success so far?
My time spent as BSC has been a constant career success for me. I started as a receptionist with a summer contract and worked really hard to get where I am now. I am very grateful for all the opportunities that I have been offered at BSC, and also a bit proud of myself for having had the courage and determination to grab them and make the most of every single one of them.
What drives you in your career?
As an international student myself, I remember every single person who has had a positive impact on my journey. I now want to be one of those people who make a positive contribution to the growth and future of our students and who will be remembered for that. To know that the experience we offer to our students is such an important milestone for their future and to know that every day I am contributing to that experience motivates me to always do my best and to improve as an individual and as part of the company.
Is there a particular woman in business that inspires you?
The very first woman who inspired me professionally was one of my lecturers at Bologna University: Isabella Preziosi. She used to teach Legal Interpreting and she worked as a legal interpreter for one of the most famous international criminal cases we ever had in the country. I remember the first time she walked into the classroom and me thinking that she was one of the most confident and professionally accomplished women I had ever met. What really inspired me was not the fact that she was a leader in her industry, but the fact that she was (rightfully so!) so confident and proud of her achievements. I remember thinking that, no matter what field I was going to work in, I wanted to be just as confident and proud of myself and my job as she was.
What innovations do you see in the future for BSC?
I firmly believe that BSC will become one of the leaders in the industry by doing things differently. The main way in which we operate differently is simply the fact that we care. We care about our students, we care about our colleagues and we care about the positive impact that we have on the world. With this in mind, I know that we will keep improving our products and our customer service, but most importantly we will keep growing as a family, and I think that is the most important thing.
If you had one wish for the future, what would it be?
A personal wish of mine would be to become an inspirational woman for everyone around me, family, friends, colleagues and students. I wish to make a difference in people’s lives, especially other women like me who might need a little push to believe in themselves and to make those changes our society needs. I am still a long way away from this personal goal of mine, but I will make sure that I keep working every day to achieve it.
Interested in learning more about equality in International Education? Check out the Lead 5050 website.