Eva Opoku, 17, Hertfordshire
Eva is a budding linguist. She’s learning Spanish, French and Twi, and is interested in a career in the media industry. She has an entrepreneurial spirit and already runs a cosmetics business as well as her own YouTube channel. Taking part in Apprentice Nation has helped her to step outside of her comfort zone, take risks and put her work out there.
Apprentice Nation has helped me to become more ambitious. I’ve learned more about my ambitions and how to get there. Meeting new people on the Youth Advisors Network has been a huge part of that journey.
At first I felt a bit intimidated by other people’s confidence, but there was a moment in our first group sessions when we were talking about our intentions as a group, and someone said that we should all be able to speak without any judgement and encourage one another.
That’s when I felt more confident in myself to properly speak up with an open mind. Presenting to the group on my project about the personal challenges I’ve worked through also really helped me to step out of my comfort zone.
I’ve also spoken with Apprentice Nation Mentors about how I can position myself in my career, and what path I need to be on to get where I would like to be. I’ve also been able to focus more on what I want for myself, thanks to Apprentice Nation. My parents and I both really agree that getting involved is a great experience and opportunity, in terms of knowing what I want to do in life, and carving out my own path.
What industry most interests you and where has that interest come from?
Ever since I was little, I have always loved being in the spotlight and having a career where you are well-known, like acting or singing. That’s probably why I am interested in a career in media or radio specifically.
Since taking part in Apprentice Nation, I’ve been looking into ways to gain experience within the industry that I want to be in – the media industry. I’ve also spoken with people in the industry who have shared resources and helped me to navigate the different options I could take.
If your lifestyle could be represented in one music track, what would it be and why?
It would have to be ‘Black’ by Dave, because it gives a clear representation of my history and background. It’s a song I can truly relate to. The music that really motivates me is music with meaningful lyrics, not just the generic things you hear all the time.
How has 2020 and the impact of COVID changed your perspective on your career and future?
Entrepreneurship: It has made me realise how easy it is to start your career or your own business at home. I started a cosmetics business with my cousins during lockdown.
Managing change: My GCSE exams were cancelled due to COVID, but I got into the Sixth Form that I wanted to go to. In terms of my future, it’s made me realise how much harder I have to work, because at any given moment, everything could change.
Confidence: I also have a YouTube channel, where I share tips, tutorials and routines for natural hair. I was extremely nervous about starting one because of my confidence. Sometimes I’m insecure about my appearance, and I thought I would be made fun of for the gap in my teeth if I put myself out there on the internet and YouTube. I really thought about not doing it. However, I have come to realise that I shouldn’t keep living my life in fear of what other people will say. I’m so glad I’ve started my channel.
Eva’s top tips to pick yourself when you’re feeling down:
- Music really helps. I have a playlist of the songs that really motivate me and help me feel strong and able.
- I’ve realised that it’s okay to lean on people and get help – something that I denied myself for a long time.