Please introduce yourself…
Hi, my name is Kishan Chatwal and I joined Ethos 6 months ago in September 2020. Prior to joining the organisation, I had recently graduated from City, University of London with a degree in International Political Economy. Like many other lucky graduates I was faced with the ruinous presence of a virus that was collapsing the global economy. To say the least, it was not the best job market to be entering! However, I was one of the more fortunate ones and became a partner at Ethos. Hence, I’d like to share my experience of working here and express how much I truly enjoyed it.
How were you introduced to Ethos?
It was after 150 job applications that I finally managed to get an offer in management consulting but thanks to Covid-19, the start date was delayed by several months. Faced with either playing the PS5 (yes, I managed to get one) or continuing the job hunt during the interim, I made the sensible solution of looking for work and building my connections on LinkedIn.
Luckily, it was by doing this that I was approached by one of Ethos’ co-founders, Rob, and after a brief conversation via LinkedIn I was introduced to a few more partners at the firm. I was sceptical at first that Ethos may be a scam, as it was unlike anything I had come across before, but the partners were so friendly and the philosophy of the company really struck me. Ethos’s aim to help people into purposeful work and to incubate businesses that create a positive impact on our world was intriguing and their respect for my ideas and thoughts was refreshing. Therefore, ignoring my initial hesitation, I decided to join Ethos and I haven’t regretted that decision since.
What aspects of the role helped you when you first joined?
The prospect of working completely online was quite daunting at first, as well as getting my head around how the business operated because it was so different to what I had previously experienced. However, what I found most helpful at the start was attending the early morning meetings and gate crashing other project tempos as it gave me helpful insight into the various activities ongoing within Ethos and let me meet many other partners across the organisation.
It may come as a surprise that I attended the morning meetings to those who have met me, as I am very much a night owl and still relish in a student lifestyle of working late at night. Luckily, Ethos has a great approach to flexible working and I was allowed to wake up at midday and work until the break of dawn. This contemporary way of working was especially appreciated when I got my puppy and Ethos allowed me sufficient time off to look after him in his first month.
I’d also like to add that the work mentoring that I received throughout my time at Ethos was a great help as there was a continual reflection on the progress I was making. My mentor, Annabelle, gave me a great sense of direction and encouraged me to get involved with more internal projects. It also helped that I got on really well with Annabelle and our conversations would typically drift off topic towards things like TV Shows and dogs.
What did you enjoy most about the role?
There were many things that I loved about my time at Ethos. Firstly, I got to spend a lot of time working with spreadsheets, which I really enjoyed as I am keen to work with numbers and data. I also loved the more social aspects of Ethos, sadly all online (thanks, Covid), as they were opportunities to speak with colleagues in a more informal environment; although everyone working at Ethos is quite informal already.
I would also like to add that at our last social I won the Ethos Quiplash tournament and therefore proudly carry the title ‘Funniest in Ethos.’ Plus, I genuinely appreciated being gifted a Christmas hamper from the company, recognising the work that I and the other partners had put in over the year.
However, I must say that the people are what I enjoyed most about working at Ethos. They’re all so friendly, helpful and genuine, I will miss them all very much.
What did you get involved in with the Young Leaders venture?
As a young graduate who had submitted countless applications, I completely understand how hard it can be to get a job as a young person. Hence, when the Young Leaders venture emerged I was eager to get involved.
At first I began helping with the recruitment process which was surprisingly enjoyable, especially being on the other side of things. I’m a big people person and getting involved in recruitment has helped me realise that the success of an organisation is crucially dependent on the people it employs. However, I also became involved with developing the Young Leaders business model and was soon assigned as the SCRUM Master for the project; allowing me to play a big part in its early inception. The responsibility was a huge learning experience for me!
What advice would you give to new Young Leaders joining Ethos?
The first thing I would suggest is to have a look at the projects Ethos is working on before you interview and begin your journey. I understand that many of you might be submitting countless applications to simply secure a job, but the culture at Ethos is its most valuable trait. The company’s core principles influence the projects it runs and the people who work there and it is important to know how well you would fit in and what interests you.
I would also advise new Young Leaders to be confident; everyone here is very friendly and welcoming. You may worry about approaching a ‘senior’ member of staff, but in my experience everyone has always been happy to help. As a young person, you wouldn’t have had the chance to try out lots of different things, so I’d recommend being confident and open minded as it will allow you to learn so much more and you never know what will spark your interest.
What did you think about your time at Ethos overall?
I’m so glad that I started working at Ethos and for the countless skills that I have obtained with my time here. I also appreciate that I’ve been able to create social impact through the work that I was doing at Ethos, which is rare in a job these days. Having meaningful work that I actually enjoyed made me feel energised for the day.
I would also like to re-emphasise how friendly everyone is at the company. Most of the people that I worked with I haven’t met in real life – and yet I’d regard them as good friends. I am truly grateful to my fellow colleagues as they made me laugh on a daily basis and helped make lockdown less monotonous. In my opinion, Ethos was a great first time employer; the only danger is that subsequent employers might not be as great!
I hope that this description of my experience at Ethos helps you and encourages you to get in touch. Good luck!
Young Leaders is an Ethos Work Venture
Find out more about Young Leaders https://www.ethosvo.org/project/young-leaders-kickstart/
Volunteers: We are looking for Mentors who can help steer our Young Leaders through their journey with Ethos VO.
Find out more https://www.ethosvo.org/mentors/