BB Academy | Andrew’s Story

Andrew kindly took a moment to pen down his experience at Ipsos MORI and how the BB Academy programme has supported him in building a career and feeling confident in achieving his goals.


My name is Andrew, I am from Nigeria and I was granted refugee status in the UK based on my sexuality. Through Breaking Barriers, I was able to interview for a 6 months’ work experience placement at Ipsos MORI, a global market research company. This opportunity would provide me with valuable experience to help me achieve my long-term goal as a Project Manager. Regardless of my level of education as a master’s degree holder, experience has taught me that sometimes in life, in order to move forward, one must take a step backwards. The role was initially being offered on a part-time basis. During my interview, I was asked to confirm that I was only able to work a few hours a week as I was on Job Seekers Allowance at the time. My response was if there is any opportunity to work full time, I would be happy to take it. My interview was successful, and I was offered the position of Project Executive within the Scanning team on a full-time basis.

My experience at Ipsos MORI has been nothing short of amazing. I was accepted with no prior experience in market research, but they saw that I had transferable skills that I could bring to the role, and were open to me learning and growing. With the help of my line manager, I drew up a Development Plan to follow during my training. The job training I went through was very thorough and my colleagues were so supportive and patient and were always available to answer any questions or queries I had. I treated every task given to me as important no matter how small it may seem, and I took my time to understand the reason for each task.

The family-like work environment at Ipsos MORI helped me settle in quickly. After I completed and successfully passed my three months’ probation period, I was offered a permanent position as a Project Executive based on my performance during my probation period. As you can imagine I was over the moon when I received the news.

I am currently working on seven projects, four of which I am managing on my own. This is as a result of the confidence my Line Manger has in me. I am in the process of starting a social club within the company and I am undergoing further career development training.

Upon registering with Breaking Barriers, I was assigned an employment adviser who worked with me on my interview technique, CV and cover letter writing. In addition, mock interviews were organised prior to my upcoming interviews which helped boost my confidence and made me feel better prepared. The organisation also facilitated workshops focused on improving my CV and interview technique. Breaking Barriers continued to support me during my 6 months by organising regular catch up meetings with me and my employers to ensure that I am being provided with the necessary tools to help me achieve my goals.

In addition to the on the job training I received at Ipsos MORI, I have access to a range of development opportunities available on both the Ipsos MORI academy and the Ipsos Training Centre where various courses focus on employees personal and professional growth. I also have a monthly one to one catch up with my line manager during which she gives me feedback on my performance and I am provided with the opportunity to raise any queries or concerns about my role.

I owe my success to the tremendous support I received from both Breaking Barriers and Ipsos MORI. I have regained confidence in myself and in my ability to build a career.