Abdi Hassan: 2015 Future Leader

Abdi Hassan is participating in a part of the British Council Future Leaders scheme. He started at British Council in September 2015.

What were you doing before you joined British Council?

Prior to joining the British Council I studied Law in Wales, presented a community radio show in Bristol for a year, worked at the Cabinet Office and worked for HMRC.  

What about the British Council Future Leaders Scheme attracted you?

I saw the scheme advertised one evening and was hooked by the idea of a ‘Globally Mobile’ career as I had always travelled and wanted to work overseas. The more I read about the British Council the more I realised the breadth and scope of the organisations work and its wide geographical presence. The thing that resonated with me the most was that the British Council works to spread friendly knowledge and understanding, something that I whole heartedly subscribe to. 

Can you briefly summarise the work you have done with British Council as a Future Leader and beyond?

I have participated in a wide range of work in the past six months since I joined the British Council. I started working in the Exams Distribution team, looking at our exam operations across the globe. To enhance my knowledge further I visited our exam operation in Egypt to see first-hand the brilliant work we do and the strength of the British Council brand abroad. 

Following this, I worked with the Education and Society team to produce a report about the recent Global Education Dialogue conference that took place in Ethiopia. This forms part of the British Council Higher Education portfolio. 

In my last placement in Arts I worked with the Theatre and Dance team. My role was to look at widening access for BAME artists to international touring. Soon I will be going on my first posting to Lagos, Nigeria to be an Assistant Country Director. 

How has your time with British Council benefited you?

One of the best personal development opportunities of working at the British Council is being given real responsibility from day one. I have worked on diverse projects and tasks since joining and I have developed my knowledge and skillset in terms of stakeholder management, working with people, commercial awareness and financial controls.   

What has been the most exciting project that you have worked on with British Council?

One of the best projects I worked was improving the digital presence of the exam distribution team. This was a crucial project as the exam business generates around £90 million a year. As part of my role I did market research and put together a marcoms roadmap. This entailed talking to the external stakeholders, the digital and brand teams and colleagues across our global network. This is an area I haven’t work in before and this was a great opportunity.  

If you had to sum up your experience with British Council in one sentence, what would you say?

This has been diverse, challenging and a great opportunity for both my personal and professional development and I have met amazing people along the way.

Abdi is participating in the British Council Future Leaders Scheme, aimed at UK young professionals.