A photo of Stephen Kakouris

Ivy House alumni case study

Stephen Kakouris

It Business Analyst, Shell

Stephen is a very bright, well-travelled and immediately impressive individual. You could see he had a strong ambition and a thirst for learning and, whilst never allowing his disability to hinder his aspirations, he had found it very difficult to get the kind of job his education and ambition would normally afford him. Joining us through our scholarship track he is a shining example of the lasting impact of our programme and what can happen when this learning finds brilliant people with untapped potential.

“At the time of my joining the programme, I had finished my Masters degree and was having a challenging time finding a job. I felt like I had so much to offer but that I could not put myself in a position where I could prove it.

I have a speech impediment that I did not feel comfortable addressing in a professional environment – I wanted to get comfortable talking about myself in a way that the real me shows up in interviews and professional environments and get some clarity and vision on where I was headed.

As someone who has done my fair share of guided introspective voyaging, I found Ivy House to be of the highest quality. The content was relevant and a catalyst for growth and my peers were of an extremely high calibre. I experienced radical growth in every way; professionally, it helped me build the tools to get from unemployed to being promoted in my first job, to being head-hunted by my dream company and now, already beginning to advance in the company after a year.

As for my personal life, it gave me the kind of life-change tools that have enabled me to become a truly effective communicator. I have so many memorable takeaways – I use the content when I have difficult conversations to have at work/life, and when I am facing any key decision.

Where am I now? Working for a company that aligns with my values and that I have always wanted to work for. I feel excited for my future both personally and professionally (despite a global pandemic). I currently live with a fellow Ivy House peer and have regular contact with alumni friends – we frequently talk about the impact Ivy House has had on our lives, that we couldn’t have the level of conversations and communication we have without going through the programme. Undoubtedly the best programme I have ever been on – if you get the chance you should grab it with both hands.”

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