There couldn't be a more fitting first story, in this monthly newsletter dedicated to sharing the special stories of team growth and culture at BluLever, than the journey of our very first applicant - applicant #0001, Nolwazi Qwabe (pictured above and below).
Nolwazi applied for a role at BluLever for the first time in 2019. She subsequently applied for three more roles, and it was only with her fourth attempt, in mid-2021, that she was successful.
In many ways, Nolwazi's story embodies the grit, resilience, and resolve that are core BluLever team values. During covid, it has been these values that the whole team has leaned into in order to grow this ambitious education startup through a very tough two years in 2020 and 2021.
"I have a bachelor of social science majoring in management and economics. I'd like to think that I have a diverse background, but one thing that has always been consistent throughout my career is serving other people. My work background spreads across customer service in retail and call centers; child care as an au pair as well as sales. Through my background in customer service, I believe I've had the opportunity to develop many aspects of my interpersonal skills and my ability to easily connect. Oh, and I'm also an aspiring yoga instructor!"
Journey to Joining BluLever
"When I came across BluLever, I connected with the vision and I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of it.
During the application process, the team was so warm and inviting, I knew then that this was the company I wanted to develop my career with.
I applied to BluLever for the first time in late 2019, and I went through a hiring process that spanned hard lockdown all the way into mid-2020, but was ultimately unsuccessful. In 2021, I went on to apply for 2 more roles with BluLever and was still unsuccessful."
Throughout Nolwazi's interview process there were instances of team members interviewing Nolwazi and commenting that, while the role she interviewed for was not a good fit, they could definitely see her being a part of the BluLever team.
In mid-2021 I was finally offered a role at BluLever as a learning intern and I was overjoyed.
"I believe that with all of my previous applications the timing was not right, but through this process, I grew resilient and hardened my resolve and I think this is something the BluLever team connected with. My resilience was driven by my desire to be a part of something bigger than myself, my desire to grow and get out of my comfort zone. I was also driven by the desire to work at an organisation where I would have an opportunity to make an impact."
Working at BluLever
"When I joined BluLever, as a Learning Intern in June 2021, I was very open-minded and eager to immerse myself in as many projects as I could. I wanted to stretch myself and my skills, but mostly I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity I had to find a space where I felt I could add the most value in the organisation."
A standout feature of working at BluLever so far is the culture within the team. There is a genuine sense of collaboration to achieve a common goal.
"I believe BluLever's culture is rooted in how well we're able to attract a team of people with shared values and a shared purpose to empower young people."
Nolwazi quickly became an integral part of the BluLever team and it turned out that her internship was only the beginning of her journey and her resilience and resolve would continue to pay off...
Nolwazi Promoted to Learning Associate
In November 2021, Nolwazi was promoted to Learning Associate, where she has helped to set up the programme that engages our apprentices during their employer-based learning. "It is a perfect role for me because I get to use my customer service background - I am the first point of contact for our apprentices. I aim to make the students feel supported throughout their apprentice journey and keep them engaged in order to continue nurturing the student community."
"The promotion for me meant that I could feel grounded and more focused which has allowed me to keep developing and ensure that I add as much value as possible and help to build the foundations of this role in BluLever."
"The aspects of the BluLever culture that have enabled me to develop into this promotion are undoubtedly the flexibility, trust, and support offered by the team."
Looking to the Future
"During my first year at BluLever, I would like to have contributed towards setting foundations for learning and apprentice support at BluLever, that can be carried into years to come. More personally, I would like to have grown confident in my abilities and less fearful of the unknown. I believe that during the time I have been at BluLever I have already made great strides in both of these areas."
If you're interested in working with BluLever or you've interacted with our team and are curious to know more about the BluLever culture and our team's personal growth stories then subscribe to the "Being Part of BluLever" newsletter so you don't miss our next story. Thanks for reading.