Moving Up on Your Own
Sumaiya Tabassum Quader
Making the transition from an educational environment to a corporate world is a big step in anyone's life. At university, you were separated into age groups, given timetables and had routine bells to tell you when it was time to move to another class. You also had people monitoring your every move and doing their best to make sure that you did exactly what was expected of you. The good part about completing university and going to look for work is that your first job is not going to be anything like that.
I still remember quite vividly my first day at work. I was full of trepidation and anxiety as I walked into the office for the first time. It was definitely my dream job. Yet, I could not help feeling jittery about the whole situation, about the uncertainty that lay ahead of me. Was working in one of the biggest multinationals going to be every bit as exciting as I had imagined it to be? Was the company going to live up to my high hopes and expectations? From the very beginning, I was given many responsibilities something that I had wanted but not expected at such an early stage. Although things were quite challenging at first, help was always at hand to make the transition as smooth as possible.
My journey started back in 2009 when I participated in the Battle of Minds, a competition held every year to identify the very best business minds from universities across Bangladesh. It not only provided an excellent platform to prove myself but also turned out to be a great learning experience. The myriad challenges that I had to face in the competition enabled me to greatly improve my existing skills and also develop new ones. Pitted against 186 participants from 12 different universities, I knew I had to perform exceptionally well if I was going to win the competition. Even though my team did not succeed in winning the competition, I still managed to impress the judges with my performance enough to land myself an interview, which eventually ended up in a job offer with the British American Tobacco Bangladesh.
What inspired me most about the company was their corporate culture. We are actively encouraged to speak out and challenge the status quo. The strong innovative approach gives an incentive for employees even at entry-level jobs to come up with new ideas. The work is very competitive and a great degree of professionalism is applied to all our work. However, despite the professionalism the work environment is very relaxed and casual. For instance, we do not have to adhere to a strict dress code and the working hours are flexible. BATB fully respects the individuality of its employees who are given a great deal of freedom to work in a way that suits them best. To cut things short, BATB is a great place to work in. The exposure I have received and the way I have managed to develop my competencies in such a short period of time is simply remarkable. BATB not only lived up to all my expectations, but has actually exceeded it.