Alum of the Month - July 2016

Mounia Berrada-Gouzi

I think I gained a lot of self-confidence at the LSE and built a strong and supportive network. Moundia Berrada-Gouzi 
  • Programme studied: MSc International Employment Relations and Human Resource Management 
  • Year of Graduation: 2010
  • LinkedIn profile

What's your current job? 

I am a passionate entrepreneur, running a business that offers career coaching, advice and mentoring, as well as speaking and presenting. My aim is to help bring the best out of people.

Where have you worked previously?

I worked at the European Central Bank in Leadership Development and Communications.

How did you get into the field you currently work in?

In 2013 I had the chance to leave my job in banking and decided to take a few months off to recharge and figure out what I really wanted to do with my career and life. I also invested in further education training.

I realised that I did not want to compromise my own freedom, personal values and potential to fit into a job that did not really fulfil me. I initially wanted to find another job after leaving my role in banking, but when I applied for jobs nothing really felt interesting or inspiring to me. A lot of the positions were not what I truly wanted and so I was indirectly forced to seek alternative options.

It was when I started to meet other entrepreneurs and freelancers, invested in coaching and started to read personal development books that I began to understand that there were other possibilities available to me and that I could indeed create a career on my terms. 

How has the programme you studied helped your career since you graduated?

The main aspect that enriched me both personally and professionally was the wide range of highly driven students from all over the world who wanted to be both successful and have an impact with their work. Mingling with like-minded people who were also high-achievers helped me exchange knowledge with others and focus on getting the most out of my programme.

I also learned that in life, we have to ask for what we want and that it all starts with believing in ourselves and then going for whatever goals we desire to achieve. I think I gained a lot of self-confidence at the LSE and built a strong and supportive network of smart, ambitious and friendly people.

Last but not least, having been an LSE graduate clearly helped me secure a job at the European Central Bank – an institution that values the academic excellence, social competence and leadership qualities of LSE graduates.

What has been your greatest achievement since graduating?

In the traditional sense, my greatest achievement was securing a job in banking in a prestigious financial institution and meeting high profile politicians, economists and leaders at the events I helped support.

However, personally I feel my greatest achievement has been to understand myself better and the motivation behind my goals. A lot of the time we are told what careers are the most sensible paths to pursue, but I learnt that a lot of what I thought I wanted, or felt I had to achieve, did not actually fit with my personality. One of the scariest things I have ever done was to take the leap from employment to self-employed. I am proud of how far I have come and of how much I have learnt in the process. I am also proud of not having given up despite numerous failures. As a high-achiever, I was used to being successful, so failing was not something I was comfortable with. In the past few years, I have learnt to become more comfortable with failure.

If you were to give someone one piece of career advice, what would it be?

First of all, seek clarity on what you want from your career apart from the pay check and the prestige of working for a well-known organisation or corporation. Look deeper. What do you really care about? What do you really want to achieve and why? Find out what you really want and then stop seeking external permission to be, do and have what you want. When faced with a problem or decision about your career, think laterally.

Lastly, if you feel stuck, seek help. As an entrepreneur I learnt that I don’t have to do it all on my own and that I can seek help from other people.