Will is a member of MyPlus Students’ Club (MPSC) and is in his fourth and final year at the University of Exeter, studying BSc Economics with Industrial Experience. He completed a year’s placement at Enterprise and during his time there he worked on their Social Mobility Index and Stonewall submissions and, on behalf of the Disability Committee, contributed to the development of a Disability Passport to aid employees and managers alike.
Following an unexpected deterioration which caused him to be absent from work, Will was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. On returning to work he published a blog highlighting the difficulties of mental illness and also dispelling myths about this often mis-understood disease. Following the blog, he has been approached by several companies to advise them on their mental health processes and is excited to continue this alongside his studies.
Will discovered MyPlus while on his year in industry and joined MyPlus Students’ Club. Sponsored by Barclays, EY, Norton Rose Fulbright and GSK this free, online resource offers comprehensive guidance on all aspects of applying for a job or internship with a disability, as well as providing connections to, and jobs with disability confident graduate recruiters who are profiled on the website, such as Enterprise. He entered the monthly MPSC prize draw open to all new members and was selected to ‘Win a Day’ with the employer of his choice, J.P. Morgan. The highlights for Will were ‘’getting the big picture perspective on campus recruitment’’ coupled with understanding more about their Autism in work programme which he described as ‘’absolutely fascinating’’; and on spending the day at J.P. Morgan he added:
“My day was absolutely fantastic; the team did such a good job at ensuring there were many thought-provoking people to speak to who were also incredibly friendly and welcoming.”
14% of students in the UK have a disability, be it physical, mental or learning related, and many lack the information and confidence to know how to be open with an employer when disclosing a disability or requesting adjustments to the recruitment process. We spoke to Will about this and here is what he had to say:
“I have no qualms about informing an employer about my disability… This day has reinforced my idea that being open about my disability is the right option.’’
Will has not let his disability affect his determination to pursue his career goals and has leveraged certain powerful strengths from his situation which he has used to demonstrate his capability. For practical steps on how to be open about a disability, and to access our eBook series click here .
Finally, we wish Will every success in his future career and look forward to following his progress. Our thanks to the team at J.P. Morgan for hosting Will, and to Kate Foster and the University of Exeter careers team for raising awareness of MyPlus Students’ Club as a resource for disabled students in the Careers Zone.