Story 22

Change100 completely transformed my career

I first joined up with Leonard Cheshire Disability through the Change100 internship, which matches disabled students and recent graduates with top UK companies.

Craig Smaaskjaer

I got a three-month paid internship with the TV production company Wall to Wall Media. I worked on BBC history programmes as a researcher and I loved it. Afterwards Wall to Wall offered me a job! Of course I said yes.

I’d always wanted to get into TV production but I never thought it was possible. Now I would say to anyone: when you identify an area you would like to work in, go for it.

The support I got from Leonard Cheshire Disability was brilliant from the start. It was great to have the chance to meet up with fellow interns – other disabled students with shared experiences. Crucially, the employers we were matched with really wanted to make the most of our time.

Change100 has completely transformed my career. The opportunities I’ve been given are amazing. Also, the pressure of feeling like I have to conceal my disability has gone. I have borderline personality disorder and other conditions. I now feel comfortable talking about this with managers.

Shortly after I landed the job, I got some media coverage in Aberdeen — where I went to university — and back home in Shetland. The reaction was incredibly positive and it meant a lot to me.

Without a doubt, I’d say that the Change100 scheme has improved things all round in my work and my life.

The pressure of feeling like I have to conceal my disability has gone.