July 11

London 2.0; The arrival

Some may ask, why the topic London 2.0?

I had several options as I thought of an ideal topic for my first blog. However, I settled on ‘London 2.0’ because it marked my 2nd visit to London in relation to my PULSE assignment, the first being the highly fulfilling and successful PULSE Orientation training held at GSK house which for me was AMAZING! I call it ‘London 1.0’

Arrival

As I rode from Heathrow airport through the streets of London, several thoughts crossed my mind. On one hand, I had nostalgic feelings about ‘London 1.0’ and the amazing time I had with the PULSE team and other volunteers. Besides the training, which was richly packed and life-changing, the volunteers have kept in touch, sharing ideas and experiences, and have become one big happy family. On the other hand, I was full of excitement yet a bit apprehensive as I thought about what awaits me at StC London office. How would I be received? Would I be able to meet up with the expectations? What is the culture going to be like? Would I fit into their system? Questions upon questions. Let me mention here that, I have attended a 4 day-workshop with staff of StC back in Abuja, Nigeria, and the team was excellent and included staff from the UK office, yet the feeling persisted.

You see, I have spent all my career at GSK and for the first time in 15 years , I was going to another organisation to work in a fully embedded capacity for 6 months. This is taking me completely out of my comfort zone as this organisation also happens to be a non-profit unlike the profit-driven Pharmaceutical environment that I was used to.

As I sat lost in deep thoughts, with my taxi navigating the ever busy London street on that morning in July, a sign post suddenly flashed past and I turned to read what was written on it. The message was simple but the impact was both profound and a huge relief for me – ‘Enjoy what you love doing’!

That for me was philosophical, spiritual and very powerful. You see, Volunteering and the PULSE program in particular is something I have always loved to do! It’s all about making the right impact. As I reflected on that message, I resolved not only to embrace and dedicate everything I have to this assignment but also, to thoroughly enjoy the experience no matter the obstacle I encounter. After all, the change must begin with me!

Filled with a renewed energy and positive sense of purpose, I set out for my first day at Save the Children UK.

You want to know how my first day went and the surprise that greeted me? Follow my next blog!