Letters from the Desk – Rhea Mathew

Open Letters – From the desk of Rhea Mathew

Social Media Manager at Battenhall, and NextGen Committee Member

5 July 2021

Hi 18-year-old Rhea,

This is the Rhea from the future.

I am writing to you today because there are a few things you should probably know about. You’ll see some words capitalized through this letter – I want you to pay attention to this.

DO NOT WORRY – you are getting stronger every single day.

As you wake up and go out to pursue your dreams, remember what Dad always told us: Your faith and upbringing matter the most so act with integrity, treat people with respect and just continue doing your best.

Your bonds with your undergraduate classmates and professors will take you to great heights and guess what? You’ll finally get to sing on stage in front of a big global audience. DO NOT BE AFRAID – you sound great! Your college life is going to be full of exciting adventures – theatre productions, projects, class politics, friendships, travel and of course – your first big break in PR!

Remember what Mrs Samtani said? “You’re really good with people – why don’t you consider a career in Public Relations?” Glad to see that you took her up on it. You’re going to launch yourself into the world of communications and PR with summer internships in Dubai, so always remember to keep these connections close. When you walk across that stage to get your undergraduate degree from the Chancellor (who by the way, knows your name!), your ambition will be ready to soar to new heights.

Your time in the United States will be a beacon of shining light for your career. An MA in Communications with a part-time job as well. How rad! Spoiler alert – You are going to get asked to be an ambassador for the Liberal Arts program.

STAND TALL AND STAND PROUD. Your voice is important. You will go through some very difficult personal battles, but this will not break you. When you walk across the stage to get hooded with your Master of Arts degree, you’re going to think: “Ha! All of that was worth it.”

All of these experiences will mould you into becoming a strong, empowered, and brave young woman ready to face a very scary first – Your first big job! YOU GOT THIS, RHEA! HP is a company you have dreamed about ever since you got your first PC from Dad. Now you get to tell their story. This is your chance to tell the world what makes you #HPProud.

However, life will soon have different plans for you. You are going to learn what the real face of immigration looks like and why every vote matters. You are going to leave America knowing that the country couldn’t keep you thanks to a certain President but cheer up – you’re going home to Mom and Dad and….a brand-new job! GET BACK UP, RHEA.

As a woman of colour, you are going to be vocal about mentoring younger kids who do not have the traditional routes into the industry and you are going to do everything you can to help women of colour realize that they are BEAUTIFUL and POWERFUL, regardless of what their skin looks like. Your voice matters, Rhea. People in your industry are going to want to hear what you think, so BE HONEST and AUTHENTIC. As a young communicator, you have a responsibility to uplift the people who do not have a voice so use every chance you get to network and create conversations around inclusion and allyship.

Also, heads up – There’s an app called Clubhouse. Get on it because your future boss is on the platform. You’re welcome 😉

So, this is what I’m trying to say: You are going to go through a lot of ups and down, personally, and professionally but I want you to know that you are strong. Your mental health struggles are real, honest, and scary to go through, but you will pick yourself up and say that it is well with your soul because that is who you are. Keep smiling, Rhea. You are going to be okay.

Lots of love,

Your biggest cheerleader