.A year as a Youth Communications Officer. By Danielle Webb

I remember the feeling, of waiting for my interview. The zoom screen was a representation of the madness of what I was feeling. With lockdown in full motion, it felt almost unrealistic, to be planting the seed of my employment. 

Just a few months prior, I had graduated from my BA honours degree, and again this was via a screen. Up until this point, any vision of a career had been disturbed by business closures and bad zoom signal. It was nothing like I had imagined being a new graduate to feel like. 

So then, when I heard the words, ‘You’ve got the job’- this too came with a rush of feelings that no one had talked about or prepared me for. Of course, excitement came top of the list, but anxiety was also a close second. I had no idea what was in store- all I knew is that I was only just learning how to be a professional in a world, we somewhat knew as normal- I had no knowledge how to do it, in a world so tied to restrictions. 

I had so much to learn. But learn is exactly what I did. 

1 year down the line, the journey of the last 12 months; has been nothing short of a rollercoaster. From education, expression, community work, and communications- the seed I thought I was planting, soon blossomed into more than I could have ever first envisioned.

I haven’t been around for long, in the grand scheme of things, compared to my colleagues- Urban Circle was not part of my upbringing, I came in with a blank canvas; and at the age of 22, having not grown up amongst this community that I now had a duty to serve, that concept seemed a daunting one. Being a lockdown graduate, 50 miles away from my hometown- still very much on a journey of my own self-discovery- there were so many concepts to my life which until this point I had always viewed as a barrier.

I had not yet found my place nor really understood how I wanted that place to look- I had so many ideas, visions, and dreams- but for the last 12 months restrictions had caused a shadow over it all. I along with many graduates, found myself easily swept up in a cloud of doubt and in a vicious cycle of worry, concern and fear. 

But through countless projects and learning opportunities- which right now, seem far too many to mention, that negative cycle started to reform into a more positive one, and the canvas I held started to gain its colour. It was messy and went outside the lines at times- but it was always bright, always bold- and always celebrated by my team, A team that helped me find the positives in every opportunity and slowly but surely repurposed the barriers I once saw. 

Over the last year, not only have I learned to be a professional, but I have grown in areas, where I didn’t even know I was being planted. I’ve grown in my ideas, my understandings but above everything, in myself. Urban Circle may not have brought me up- But they have certainly witnessed me grow up. Grow into a person I didn’t know I was capable of becoming.

I have learned more in this year, than any job description could’ve prepped me for, but knowledge is nothing if it is not shared, and amongst all my team hold- Knowledge is something I believe has made us stand out from the rest. 

Because no matter how much I have learned. Still, I have so much left to do. It’s a cycle. But no longer a vicious one. 

Every day, with a new project or purposes, comes a new learning opportunity which throws even the most experienced, into the beginner’s phase. It’s a never-ending circle.  

But I guess that’s the purpose of a circle. 

It has no end. No cut off. No levels. No limits.

No one person better than another. And no moment where one cannot learn from the other. 

That’s the purpose of a circle. 

And that’s the sort of place that is Urban Circle. 

A place where even the most different, find their way. 

A place where the sun shines where clouds once were. 

A place where even the old are still learning, and the young are now teaching. 

Where opportunities arise when you least expect them- and when treated with care and compassion, even the most unrealistic seed…… is given the soil to bloom.