I have a neurological disability called stuttering which makes it hard for me to talk. I was often unable talk to people, let alone have a meaningful conversation. If I did converse with somebody, it would just be bare bone to get the message across, no pleasantries or small talk. I’ve often stayed up in the middle of the night wondering if I’ll ever be able to lead a normal life, or even get a job.
A year ago, I got a job interview at BlackBerry for a Software Development position. These interviews are very hard because they are often conducted by multiple people and cover a wide variety of technical and behavioral questions. During my interview, I stuttered a lot. This made me more nervous, which lead to more stuttering. What really surprised me was that everybody was listening to me patiently. This calmed me down enough to finish the interview. I knew that I had impressed my interviewers, but I was sure I wouldn’t get the job because of my stuttering disability.
Image the surprise on my face, when 15 minutes later I got an email saying that I was hired! It was unbelievable. I had finally done what I had thought was impossible. When I started my job at BlackBerry, I asked my interviewers why they chose me. They simply said that I had the right set of skills for the job; they didn’t really care about my stuttering.
Stuttering is just a small part of my personality, but I had blown it out of proportion and made it a huge deal. In the end, it turns out that people don’t really care about my disability, they care about the person behind the disability.
While I was interning with Blackberry, I heard about an organization called Lime Connect. I became an ambassador of Lime Connect because it is an organization that is focused on the talent of individuals who happen to have a disability. We partner with companies such as BMO, IBM, PepsiCo, RBC, TD & Google to provide students with scholarships and internships and to provide grads with full-time job opportunities. Join us at our information session on October 1 from 11am to 12pm or 1pm to 2pm at MBC 0300.