We catch up with Rupa Johnson who is a business information and research advisor at Leicestershire Business Gateway Growth Hub and has recently successfully achieved the SFEDI Awards Level 5 Certificate in Business and Enterprise Support Services.
So Rupa, tell us a bit about your experience prior to your current role?
"Well I have successfully Managed a highly confidential Public Sector contract, ensuring Delivery of a Timely Service as well as
practising as a Person Centred Counsellor."
Why was doing a SFEDI qualification important to you?
“It gave me the opportunity to reflect on my working practise. It also gave me time to reconnect and reflect how important it
is for me to support every individual client through challenging times with the current social economic fall out of Covid crisis and to acknowledge the true impact of being the first point of contact in supporting distressed clients using my counselling skills as well as appreciating the clients point of view and the courage it takes to ask for help and pick up the phone to a stranger from an organisation some of the Business Community had not heard of before.”
How has your qualification benefited you?
“I have gained so much both personally and professionally. I truly believe this will also lead to further opportunities that
reflect my passion for helping people. Not only have I had time to develop a Personal Development Plan in line with my ethos
that everyone deserves a second chance but also professionally where being and working for an ethical organisation who truly believe in investing in their employees.
My work and achievements have been recognised across the organisation internally as well as externally through my SFEDI Qualification. You never truly stop learning and an opportunity to continue accessing further studies would always be something I am interested in.”
What was the most rewarding aspect/element of taking a SFEDI qualification?
“My work being of a high standard worthy of an external institute adopting some of my elements into Best Working Practice ..a
very unexpected and humbling experience. Through SFEDI it's given me the opportunity to strive further with confidence.”
What is your greatest success so far in your career?
“It's not a success but in terms of carrying out fulfilling work helping others I would say that when I’m grey and old and someone asks me what I was doing during a global crisis? Hand on my heart I can say I stepped up whilst working on the Front Line supporting the Business Community often as the first point of contact, picking up and answering the phone from distressed
clients in need of support and guidance and being someone to listen on the other end of the phone.”
What was the greatest difficulty that you’ve faced career-wise?
“Negative experience with, one recruitment company in particular that proceeded to sideline me ..however, it turned out to be a
positive in the end as I didn’t settle for short term temporary contracts through agencies and instead, lead me to a fulfilling role in an organisation where I work currently and my work ethic and dedication to clients has been recognised at the highest level. As well as being part of an organisations who values and encourages us in celebrating each others success.”
Would you recommend SFEDI to others?
“Yes definitely. What have you got to lose? You get out what you put in.”
So Rupa before we close, is there anything else you’d like to say?
“Thank you to LLEP for securing the funding and providing us the opportunity and management support/encouragement in the uptake of this opportunity. To my tutor who embraced my out of the box thinking and personal approach in completing this qualification.”
Ruth Lowbridge MBE, Executive Chair at SFEDI Group said,
“Rupa has approached her qualification with such passion and vigour. It is a reflection of her commitment to continuous learning and her ability to reflect on what is going on around her and how what is happening has impacted on Rupa both personally and professionally. Overall a brilliant submission which shows how much thought and time Rupa has invested in her personal and professional development.”