Arfah Farooq is the co-founder of Discoverables, a start-up that invites young job seekers to showcase their hidden talents through taking part in a range of challenges. She spoke to icould about her job, career route and outlook.
Tell us about the job you’re doing now. What does it involve?
I co-founded Discoverables and I’m currently in charge of social media and marketing outreach. My job involves setting up conversations with potential investors, partners or other similar like-minded organisations. I also manage the Discoverables community through our social network platforms.
What is the most exciting aspect of your work?
I’m lucky that I always get to meet inspiring people and organisations and also being able to witness the Discoverables community progress and improve their skills on our site is pretty exciting.
Would your classmates from school be surprised at what you’re doing now?
When I was in school I had no idea the world of social enterprises and technology/social media existed! My classmates would be surprised by me co-founding my own thing quite young but I don’t think they would be surprised by my passion and energy to do my bit to help young people.
Was there a teacher who had a particularly strong influence on you and if so in what way?
At every stage of my education I was lucky to always have at least one teacher who I built a good relationship with. They inspired me to really believe in myself and always put in 100 per cent effort.
What school subjects were you good at and have any been surprisingly helpful later on?
I was quite good at ICT and Graphic Design that has really helped me in always being able to pick up creative software really quickly.
How did you decide what you wanted to do after school?
I thought about what I enjoyed and was interested in and made sure my further studies were in something I felt passionate about.
And how did you get into your current line of work?
I got into my current line of work by simply giving time. During my last year at university I took part in Star Track, a mentoring, training and development programme, and from that got involved in the creation of Discoverables. I went in as a young person but came out on the other side as a co-founder/director. My advice would be give as many skills that you have away and don’t’ ask for anything in return and slowly reward would follow.
If you went to university what was your university experience like?
My university experience was great! I really enjoyed my course (Media & Communication) as it was a good mixture of theory and practical and I threw myself into the students’ union, got involved in societies, and got elected in the students’ union as a BME officer. I gained great experience for my CV but also made many lifetime friends.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
I don’t know! I have no idea where technology will be in 10 years time but I defiantly want to stay involved in Discoverables and the social enterprise/technology scene and hopefully set up another project to tackle society’s problems!
What advice would you give someone still at school who wants to do what you’re doing now?
Experience everything. Get as much experience in as many different areas as you can, as you will gain many transferable skills. These will be key as the future is digital but it is also unknown. The job you’re most likely to end up doing does not exist yet so make sure you are prepared and ahead of the game!
Can you give us a link for more information?
Like is on Facebook: www.facebook.com/discoverables
Say hello on Twitter: www.twitter.com/discoverables
Arfah Farooq is co-founder of Discoverables and can be found @Arf_22