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Monday 01 August 2022

Finding joy in a workplace that supports autistic young people

Hello, I am Lily-Rose (she/her) and I was lucky enough to be the first person to intern with JLL on the Meta London account. 

Going into the internship, I knew very little about what a job in facilities would entail. I think if you asked most people what facilities meant to them, they would suggest cleaning or engineering, and they wouldn’t be completely wrong, but there is so much more to this exciting and developing industry as well. 


Employment support from Ambitious about Autism 

The support of Ambitious about Autism was essential in making me feel able to apply for the internship in the first place. I had previously applied for roles that didn’t make any adjustments for autistic people, and I’d found it very disheartening how difficult and exclusive the traditional interview process can be. I started to think that perhaps I would never be able to gain meaningful experience or get a job because of this. The adjustments that were made and knowing that the JLL team had got training on how to be inclusive of autistic people, made all the difference for me. 

During my time at JLL, I grew leaps and bounds. I helped with operations, events, mailroom processes, and the moves and changes team. I gained so much experience, not only in facilities work, but also in social interaction, sustainability projects, and presenting - my proudest moment was presenting to the JLL@Meta team about my internship, and all I got from the opportunity. 


Support in the workplace 

I worked across five beautiful offices and helped the team to open two of them. I met so many people that contributed so much, not only to my internship, but also to my growth more personally. They helped me to take on my own tasks, including maintaining the stationery points, office floor walks, and completing planned preventative maintenance. I set long term goals, and my mentors helped me to exceed them.

The team at JLL took me on a journey, from initially being rather terrified about what the world of work meant for someone like me (autistic and queer), to quickly finding so much value and joy in a workplace that saw me for who I am. The team went out of their way to learn how to better accommodate people like me, and we had some excellent external speakers present to the team.


Gaining new dreams and eternal friendships 

I am overjoyed at how much I have learnt over my internship. My hope going into it was to gain inspiration personally and professionally, to strive to advance my employment skills, and to know that inclusive workplaces are real. With the team’s help, I not only accomplished all of this, but also gained new dreams, eternal friendships, and a renewed sense of joy. I am so excited that other autistic people will get to experience this opportunity as well. 

Because of my experience with JLL, I was quickly able to find my first permanent job upon finishing my internship, and I am now supporting the facilities function for another prestigious global tech company. I’m really excited for my future! And fortunately, my new office is very close to a Meta office, so I can still easily see some of my JLL friends after work. 

I will always be thankful for my six months with the JLL at Meta team. My internship completion certificate said that I truly spread joy, but I hope they know that I gained infinitely more joy from them. They will always have a special place in my heart.


Employ Autism Programme

Check out our current paid internship opportunities for autistic people aged 18+ on our work experience opportunities page