It’s difficult to start this blog without bumping into terms that are now the cliches attached to 2020, but let’s just say it has been a challenge for many, myself included. However, let’s rewind for a moment, back to when The Pandemic was a reference to a historical event…and a Netflix series… After graduating from the University of Nottingham with a degree in International Media and Communications with Mandarin and Spanish, I was certain I wanted to begin my own company. Nevertheless, I listened to the whisperings of self-doubt which sounded like: “No one will buy anything off you, you’re too young.”, “You are too young to be your own boss”, “Join a big company, and maybe think about starting your own company in your 40s, that is far far more realistic.” Combined with the fact I was incredibly frustrated with my heavily academically focused education, I was petrified I did not have the practical skills to teach myself the transferable skills needed to work in the media. So, I started work in a Video Production Company. I had had plenty of jobs alongside my education, so what follows was not through lack of work ethic but… I made it through around two months. Two months until the desire to begin my own company pushed me to hand my notice in. Having always been self-motivated, I knew I would push myself the hardest and had always felt that is just how it would all turn out. Then in comes the first hurdle…to start your own company you need finance, which is a sparse resource when you are fresh out of University. The panic alarms began to sound off. Martin Lewis’ money advice website informed me I had 0% chance of obtaining start-up finance. Stuck, I reached out to the Prince’s Trust who have an Enterprise Course offering access to business finance and a mentor for two years. I pitched my idea of a Video and Podcast production company to a panel of Princes Trust Mentees and was delighted to be accepted onto the course, facilitating access to business finance, and a mentor. House of Hyde Media was created, and I loved it. I had a part-time job whilst I built up my portfolio, working with clients including Guardian Top 50 companies, Betfair, Salon of Year Award Winning Hair Salons, and many more. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard, it was sometimes lonely, it was a rollercoaster of ebbs and flows, but it was going somewhere, I wasn’t going to let it not. Then began the murmurings of the Virus. I laugh now looking back, telling my friends “it’ll just be like the flu, stop panicking, nothing will change.” How wrong was I? The upcoming contracts I had in the hair and beauty industry had been paused (understandably), and much like many other businesses, near enough overnight, work stopped. As horrible as it was it gave me a moment to pause. A moment to pause, and think: was the “why” I was doing what I was doing enough? Could I be making more of an impact on people’s lives? So, I began reflecting on my journey so far, and the things I wish I had known when I was younger. And that was it. As a young person, I wanted transferable skills to take into the workplace. In terms of media, I wanted someone to share with me what skills I could have been building from a young age, which would have saved me the embarrassment of my bewilderment when someone asked me to see my media portfolio which I could have been building from 14. I wanted to hear real conversations about what working in different industries was like, and what I would need for those industries, what do the day to day work lives look like in all these different careers. What mindset development could I be doing to be unlocking potential I didn’t even realise I had needed to develop. Furthermore, I cannot think of a time where young people need those things more than they do now. We can’t let this generation be the Covid Generation, whose futures don’t look as bright as they did before. We cannot let that happen. So there was created Class of Hyde. Class of Hyde aims to give real authentic career advice to young people, directly from industry, in all industries, not just media, providing access to real conversations on what it takes to be successful in the biggest range of careers we can tackle. I want to do this to give young people the very best chance of being successful in whatever industry they choose is for them. From talking about the reality of the role, to what they can be doing now to develop their skills. Let’s talk about the mindset needed to be successful in their chosen pathway, let’s equip young people, with the mindset skills we begin developing in our 20s, 30s, and 40s. I hear a lot of older people worried about their careers, and that is valid, but young people are just about to enter into this landscape and face these challenges. So Class of Hyde was created to help give young people their vision for their futures back. To support them in developing their skills to become successful in whatever career they choose, whilst also preparing young people for the further entrance into the digital sphere. So, once again with the support of the Prince’s Trust, I created Class of Hyde. I am certain that Class of Hyde will evolve and change as we collaborate with the Education Sector and hear the needs of young people. Some of the conversations may be gritty, some of the conversations may be slightly challenging, some of the conversations will be inspirational and could be life-changing. Class of Hyde’s aim is to close the gap between industry and education to get our young people ready for the successful future they deserve.