Shani Page-Muir attended the Powerlist Foundation and Deloitte Leadership Programme (PFDLP) in 2013 and had she not done so might not be studying for her master’s at Oxford University now.
Rachel Ohwin, a delegate from the 2011 PFDLP, raised £10,000 in 10 days by crowdfunding for her student fees to study for a master’s and after being refused bank loans, Shani decided to emulate her.
Rachel spoke at the 2013 PFDLP where she met Shani and as well as inspiring her to crowdfund also helped with her master’s application.
Shani’s target was £21,000 in 21 days which she did comfortably.
Last summer she worked for a while at Google as an events coordinator and had to juggle that with her crowdfunding efforts. Many contributions were modest £15-25 donations and lots were even less, from former colleagues from her secondary school days in south London. Nevertheless, she fully appreciated even the tiny amounts.
For her crowdfunding innovation, Oxford University gave her £5,000 and £6,000 came from Susan Paul, the mother of a friend, Raj Kohli. Susan is passionate about helping students and saw this as an ideal opportunity to help a worthy candidate. “Susan was willing to give me £10,000 but I decided to continue with the campaign and she said she would make up what I needed.” Shani is extremely grateful to Susan and all the other contributors.
Shani is in Accra, Ghana for five weeks, until the end of April, as part of her dissertation.
She found that the PFDLP was very supportive. “The networking component is really important,” she says. “A lot of people I met on the Leadership Programme have become friends.
“It’s not just about you being successful but how you can use your experience to bring up the younger generation and those behind you. I think that was really important.”
Shani really enjoyed being “around like-minded black students, it was a really positive experience for me”. She is still in contact with many of them and happy to see “all the exciting things that they’re doing”.
Some are on trainee contracts with corporate law firms, investment banks and tech companies. “It’s really exciting how far they’ve gone from only a few years ago.”
Although she appreciated meeting the mentors and trustees at the PFDLP, Shani enjoyed most “connecting with people of my own age”.
Shani was a finalist in the Black Youth Achievement Awards 2014 under the Community category. She also featured as one of the top 100 black students in the UK for 2013.
Since September 2012 she has also attended the McKinsey & Company Future Leaders Leadership Programme, Google Top Black Talent, Powerful Media and Rare Recruitment – all highly selective programmes providing opportunities for exceptionally talented students.
Shani studied International Development and Politics at Leeds University, graduating last summer. She won an award at the graduation ceremony for having one of the highest academic achievements for her paper: Police Brutality Against Black Males and Mass Incarceration in the US.
Part of her degree course took her to Ghana for a semester in 2014 and she also interned at the Home Office for nine weeks at the International Directorate with a trip to Brussels as part of the course.
She also went to India through the British Council to volunteer in a slum community. The three-week Study India trip took her to New Delhi and Mumbai. Shani enjoyed it so much that she told Gary Izunwa, another PFDLP delegate, of its merits and he also thoroughly enjoyed it.
Shani wants to work for the Home Office in international development after her master’s or at the Foreign Office.
Her dissertation is on why British-born Ghanaians are leaving to live in Ghana and why Caribbean people are moving there en masse too and she intends to continue researching into that in the future.
Travelling is a passion too, which she intends to continue. The 22-year-old south Londoner lives in Greenwich. Her London-born mother’s parents are from Jamaica and Barbados and her father was born in Guyana.
Oct 2014: Finalist for the Black Youth Achievement Awards 2014 under the Community category
Sep 2013: Future Leaders: Featured as one of the top 100 black students in the UK for 2013
Sep 2012 – Present: McKinsey & Company Future Leaders Leadership Programme, Deloitte Powerlist Foundation Leadership Programme, Google Top Black Talent, Powerful Media and Rare Recruitment – member of highly selective programmes providing opportunities for exceptionally talented students
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