Change 100 taught me to be open about my disability
Matthew took part in our Change 100 internship scheme in 2018, with a placement at online payments company Paysafe. He graduated from the University of Greenwich with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and is now working as a junior data analyst at GAM Investments.
You may not realise it, but sometimes your disability can give you the skills that are exactly what employers are looking for.
I have Asperger’s Syndrome, which is part of the autistic spectrum. It can affect different people in different ways. For me, it can mean that I find it hard to engage in conversations with people. My Asperger’s also gives me positive traits like making me really committed to everything I do – whatever situation or organisation.
I used to think my disability was a drawback
I feel that my Asperger’s may have been a drawback when looking for work in the past – before Change 100 I had applied for numerous jobs without any success. In 2018 I did my Change 100 placement with a company called Paysafe, where I worked in data analysis and data checks for my team. I really enjoyed it and the support I was given from my employers was fantastic.
I gained so many skills from my internship, such as computer skills, data management and communication. Also teamwork – I used to feel more comfortable working independently, but then I realised that if you work as well in a team as you do on your own, then you’re a force to be reckoned with in the workplace.
What Change 100 taught me
The Change 100 programme taught me that you need to be honest and open with whatever disability you have. When I first started my internship, I was a bit apprehensive about what to say regarding my disability, but now I’m so much more confident in disclosing how my disability affects me in the workplace.
I’m now employed full time as a junior data analyst at a company called GAM Investment. It’s similar to the role I was doing on my placement and I’ve been there about a year now. I would recommend anyone to apply for Change 100. You may not realise it, but sometimes your disability can give you the skills that are exactly what employers are looking for.