Her Own Boss PodcastMonday 15 Feb 2021
We caught up with Aneesah Sarwar (BSc Economics, 2019), who currently works as a graduate analyst at Barclays UK. We heard that Aneesah had started, with five other graduates, a new podcast and we wanted to ask her a few questions about this enterprise and about her life and work since graduating.
Can you tell us what you have been up to since graduating from Warwick?
I graduated from Warwick in 2019 with a BSc degree in economics. After completing an internship at Barclays at the end of my second year, I was offered a place on their graduate programme and have been working there ever since graduating. Whilst at Barclays I took part in a social intrapreneurship challenge which was all about being an entrepreneur within a large organisation to tackle a social problem in a way that benefits the consumer, the company and society at large. Through this challenge, I met five other recent graduates that were also passionate about solving the problem identified by The Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship. One in three entrepreneurs in the UK are female, which represents £250 billion of new value that could be added to the UK economy if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men. The review has identified ways of unlocking this untapped talent and the team and I took it upon ourselves to help close this gap and in doing so, the podcast and online community Her Own Boss was born.
How is Her Own Boss helping young professional women?
In order to bridge the early careers confidence gap, Her Own Boss is a podcast and online community designed to help young women find their inner entrepreneur, by exposing them to inspirational role models and providing practical advice for personal and professional development. The episodes explore the stories and experiences of female entrepreneurs from a wide range of industries, covering aspects of entrepreneurship like side hustles, venture capital and start-ups. Listeners can also hear useful tips and tricks in the minisodes where the expert mentors share advice in a bite-sized format. You can listen to the podcast on Anchor, Spotify and Apple Podcasts and all other major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and follow Her Own Boss on Instagram and LinkedIn to hear the latest episodes as soon as they come out.
Explain to us the process of creating and publishing new episodes?
As the team’s Content Lead, I plan the main episodes and minisodes for the podcast. One of my key roles is researching different topics and industries and putting together the plans for each episode to ensure we have a wide variety of content across each season. In order to add value to our audience, it’s important for me to understand listeners’ interests and habits, as well as the early-careers and entrepreneurship space. This helps me identify topics and potential guests that would be perfect for the podcast. Then it’s all about reaching out and inviting people onto the podcast, followed by engaging in content discussions with them. As a team, we then record, edit and distribute the episodes across all our channels for our listeners to enjoy.
What are your favourite episodes?
It’s incredibly hard to choose my favourite episodes because I enjoy every single one. However, one of my favourites is definitely ‘Feminism, fast fashion & sustainable entrepreneurship with Josephine Philips’, which covered the green agenda and environmental sustainability – a topic I’m personally very interested in and passionate about. Having recently graduated university, Josephine has recently launched her green start-up and explained how the fast fashion industry impacts sustainability, feminism and human rights, as well as discussing her own journey to make both her business and personal life more sustainable. I personally love hearing from all the amazing women like Josephine that join the podcast; it leaves me feeling inspired and ready to grasp every opportunity life throws my way. Other episodes have covered entrepreneurship within academia, women in gaming and STEM. These are such interesting industries that I might not otherwise have exposure to, so I find it fascinating to learn more about them by listening to the guests’ experiences and insights.
What have you learnt personally?
I’ve personally found the minisodes so useful for my development. In particular, Vanessa Vallely OBE, founder and CEO of WeAreTheCity, joined us for an episode on how to kickstart your network, which highlighted how to identify who you need to network with, how to approach them and how to keep those relationships thriving. I started using her tips in my professional career and I can see the difference it’s making already! The minisodes have also covered topics like how to overcome imposter syndrome, how to present yourself with confidence, how to create your own career path and much more. Our feedback has shown that our minisodes are not only useful for both students and recent graduates, but also for people wanting to develop in their careers.
How did your experiences at Warwick help you in your career?
Whilst at Warwick I was involved in the Warwick Economics Summit and joined the team in my very first month of starting at Warwick. From starting as a Social Events team member to then leading the Social Events team as a Coordinator in the exec team, I then decided to step it up a notch and take on the role as overall Summit Coordinator. It was a vast amount of responsibility and commitment that challenged me to develop skills such as strategic thinking, communication, time management and leadership, all of which are vital skills in the workplace and beyond. The experience meant that I had both the confidence and ability to seek out and successfully take on additional responsibilities on my graduate programme, which is allowing me to develop further professionally and excel in my career.
What advice would you share with current students and early career professionals?
Focus on yourself and your own goals. You may feel the pressure to conform to what everyone around you is doing but remember that everyone is unique and can create their own path so don’t worry too much about what other people are doing, whether it’s related to studying, societies, socialising or careers. Figure out what works for you and what you want in life and just focus on that.
Her Own Boss - Selection of Episodes and Minisodes
- How to set goals with Niamh Crawford-Walker, 21 December 2020 – Listen now.
- How to succeed in job interviews with Sophie Miller, 14 December 2020 – Listen now.
- How to build your personal brand with Mary Agbesanwa, 30 November 2020 - Listen now.
- Women in gaming: representing the other 50% with Jay & Poornima, 13 November 2020 - Listen now.
- How to overcome imposter syndrome with Sonya Barlow, 9 November 2020 - Listen now.
- How to speak up against micro-aggressions with Hannah Awonuga, 19 October - Listen now.
- How to kickstart your network with Vanessa Vallely OBE, 11 September 2020 - Listen now
- Finding confidence throughout your career with Kate Bache, 3 July 2020 - Listen now.
About Aneesah Sarwar
Aneesah Sarwar is a graduate analyst at Barclays UK. During her time at Warwick, Aneesah volunteered as a WES Summit Coordinator and helped to organise their 18th edition of the Warwick Economics Summit. Aneesah studied BSc Economics between 2016-2019.