2016 WOF Media Winner Chayya Syal – How my life has changed since the awards

When I won in the Media category I felt so overwhelmed.

When they announced my name, I felt like the bottom of my stomach had dropped out of my body and it genuinely felt like an out of body experience! It was surreal seeing everyone at my table clap, cheer and cry out in jubilation. Before me, some very prestigious names – whom I look up to –  have been listed as WOF Media Award winners – and I am certain that the ones which follow me will be just as influential, incredible, hard-working and ambitious. It is an honour and a privilege to be included in such a list of winners.

Winning has given me so much of my confidence back and put many things into perspective. It has made me realise how far I’ve come in my career and what I’ve actually done. I’ve been a journalist for the last 7-8 years and it’s very easy to lose sight of what I have done, achieved and strive for.

Since winning, so much has happened. I have been to Buckingham Palace, been listed in Forbes 30 under 30 Europe, been named as a finalist in the British Indian Awards, attended the UN Youth Conference in New York and been shortlisted at the National Diversity Awards. I have also been shortlisted for We Are The City’s Rising Star Awards, won the LiftEffects Awards in London, I was named in Brummell Magazine as One to Watch: London, I have given workshops and engaged in mentorship.

Among these numerous accolades, for which I am very thankful for, I have made friends with some of the most inspiring and incredibly empowered women. I learn so much from them and am blessed to be part of a group that is so holistic, welcoming, warm, refreshing and bold.

WOF has given me so much: I cannot thank you all enough for that.

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