• Charlotte Alford

Day 10: What happened?

Updated: Jul 23

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

Maya Angelou

More seats have been added. More seats means more people sitting in the seats which equates to more people for me to embarrass myself in front of. Fantastic. Cannot wait. The stress sweats are out. I packed an extra roll on deodorant in anticipation of this perspiration. Not only was it a wise decision, it was a necessary one. By 1pm, just like the emergency deodorant, I was done. I had submitted my final presentation to Kirsty. It might not be the best presentation in the world, but I can put my hand on my heart and say I fucking tried. I slept, roughly, an accumulative of 8 hours in two weeks, I developed a coffee addiction, and I stress ate more snacks than I will ever admit. Morrisons Peckham saw a humous shortage like you wouldn't believe. But in the end, what was done was done, and there was no time to change it so I decided to embrace it. So while everyone else was doing the sensible thing and sat (paced about the joint) practising their presentations', I went and got my eyebrows done. As I kept saying: Sharp brows, Sharp mind.

When I applied for JOLT, we had to prepare a ten slide presentation. I made mine as sarcastic, jokey and light hearted as possible, figuring that the majority of applicants would go down a serious route; the plan was to stand out from the crowd

while using an advertising campaign to advertise myself. Kill two birds with one stone in a way. It worked I suppose, I got in. But the feedback I got from it seemed, to me, to insinuate that I was a wild card entry. She can make a joke but can she do anything else? Doubtful. It was something that was in the back of my mind the entire way through this programme. I think they call it imposter syndrome. So this presentation was to be different; I remember thinking to myself "Right, time to show your serious side". I started my presentation with "Hi, my name is Charlotte and I am truly terrified to be here". Then I blacked out. The last thing I remember is people laughing. Clearly I nailed the sombre tone I was going for. In hindsight, probably didn't help that I made a blog with the word "Sarcasm" in the title.

When I said I blacked out, I am quite serious. I don't remember a single part of my presentation. Before I started presenting, I thought I was going to have a full blown panic attack. I couldn't stop shaking. Poor Yuliya had to give me a lesson in breathing. She quite literally stood at the side of the stage quietly saying "deep breath in, deep breath out, do it again", while I regretted being "sensible" and not having the Pre Presentation Pint. For that, I would like to say the most sincere thank you. Without it, there is no chance in hell I would have been able to speak. It meant more to me than I will ever be able to formally articulate. So, once again, thank you. Don't worry, I compensated for my earlier mistake and downed a Post Presentation Pint instead. Also, side note, apparently I swore during my presentation. When I was told that, my first response was "Fuck! No I didn't.". My second was "Yeah, that sounds about right actually". 

At the end of it, I am incredibly proud to say that I was offered, along with the incredibly

talented Bruno, Jonathan and Naomi, a three month placement at Mother, starting January 2020. I might have quite a cavalier tone, but to this day, I am still shocked and incredibly grateful for this opportunity. I promise, I will work ten times harder, lose my glasses, drink every coffee going, lose my travel cup, eat more snacks and basically do whatever it takes to show how capable and serious I am about my future in this industry. I quit my very stable bank job for a chance at getting my smart/casual boot in this strategic door, good luck getting it out.