Natalie Rudyj

My name is Natalie Rudyj, I am born and raised in Nottingham and am passionate in supporting community growth and personal development. I am currently employed at The Bridges Community Trust as an Employment Support Advisor, working with Nottingham residents in overcoming barriers into employment, education, and training. I am also studying towards a Level 6 Qualification in Careers, Information, Advice & Guidance, with a focus on Professional Career Development.

My research project whilst in America will be to explore unemployment initiatives across the country, and  strategies being used in different states to engage people in the labour market and increase employability.

I will focus on how services have adapted to work with people following the pandemic: including those who have been made redundant, lost businesses as well as those whose employability skills are no longer in demand.

I also explore how services are adapting to the Fourth Industrial revolution and preparing clients for new ways of working and future jobs as well as methods used to engage with minority groups.

My journey will begin in New York City, where I will visit the Work Progress Program- an organisation that works with young people to provide internships at non-profit organisations. I will then travel to Washington DC, Atlanta, and then on to the West Coast, visiting a range of organisations, government offices, libraries, and employment support services on the way. I will finish my journey in Detroit, visiting the Heidelberg project and the Empowerment Plan, before flying back to the UK from New York.

The research that I gather whilst in America, I am sure will have many benefits to my employer, my clients, and the partners that I work with within the city. I expect that the scholarship will provide a greater insight into why people experience long term unemployment and look at ways to adopt strategic approaches when supporting people into employment. I also hope to identify creative ways of engaging with people and delivering effective Career Information, Advice and Guidance.

Going to America will be a life changing experience, one which will undoubtedly improve my confidence, self-awareness, and my ability to establish and manage projects alone. I am also looking forward to having the challenge of reflecting and evaluating my research and experiences upon my return.

More than anything I am hoping that this experience will push me out of my comfort zone and provide a unique experience that I will never forget.