Chidinma Uche — Change100 2017 intern, Skanska

Chidinma, Change100 2017 intern

Chidinma is at the University of Hull studying Chemical Engineering. She found out about Change100 from the disability services at her University.

‘When I first received the email I was very interested as I had never seen a placement specifically for people with disabilities/long term health conditions. I knew straight away I wanted to apply.

‘I was extremely keen to see how the placement and application process would differ from the ones I had previously applied for.

‘I however was very wary of people knowing about my disability/ long term health condition; as this is the most open I’ve been about declaring it. Applying for the Change100 programme has also encouraged me to use more of my university disabilities services.

‘I have really enjoyed the Change100 programme so far. From a placement viewpoint I now see the benefits of declaring your disability and/or long term health condition to your employer. There is nothing to lose, you actually have more to gain.

‘On previous jobs I’ve worked I’ve always moulded myself around my workplace and struggled, whilst now the workplace has moulded itself around me.

‘I’ve learnt that asking for adjustments doesn’t mean you’ll stick out from others in the work place for example flexi hours is an adjustment that both disabled and non-disabled people use.

‘The opportunities I’ve gained from the programme so far; increased confidence, learnt to declare and not be ashamed of my disability, gained experience working on a construction site, gained first-hand experience of what a professional working environment is like, understood that having adjustments in place is an extremely helpful tool and most importantly I’ve further developed my communication skills.’