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Read how Sabrina made it through her education with undiagnosed dyslexia

Monday 14 December 2020

Sabrina went her entire education without a diagnosis, with parents from an Asian background, dyslexia wasn’t an option. However, after her diagnosis, Sabrina was able to acknowledge her weaknesses but more importantly, really understand her strengths. Focussing on these Sabrina has achieved a highly successful career.

As someone who has always worked extremely hard with studies, I managed to go through my entire education until my masters with no accommodation or diagnosis. There were some suggestions that I should be tested but when I google imaged dyslexia, dyslexia seemed very extreme so I never looked into it. My dyslexia diagnosis came extremely late (aged 23) as my parents are from an Asian origin who believed that any difficulties in studies can just be fixed by excess amounts of tutoring and study. My GMAT tutor found that I was saying the right answer but writing a different answer down so he suggested the idea of being tested. It was not until London Business School where I was sent to be tested.

The positives and the challenges

Positive: Dyslexia has a lot of strengths that people do not realise as dyslexia is normally seen with negative connotations. I never knew why I was so creative or so good at thinking outside of the box or so good at certain sports such as tennis. After my diagnosis, I was able to acknowledge my weaknesses however really understand how to use my strength
Challenges: I was originally very ashamed of being diagnosed with dyslexia as I had always been working at top investment banks (JP Morgan, Citibank and Bank of America Merrill Lynch) or top consulting firms such as EY-Parthenon or Monitor Deloitte and attending top universities around the world such as London Business School, University of New South Wales (Australia) and Copenhagen Business School. I originally refused to tell people and would act like I did not know what dyslexia was.

My advice for someone who has recently been diagnosed with dyslexia

I would advise you to remember that dyslexia may have negative connotations, however, there are many strengths of dyslexia such as problem-solving, strong emotional intelligence and creativity. For example, I am extremely strong with interviews. In some ways being diagnosed with dyslexia was a gift for me as it explained why I could never receive the top grade in the class or write as fast as my peer. It allowed me to access a whole new world that I never knew existed.

I like the world to know that dyslexia should not be seen negatively as dyslexic people are the most successful people in the world. E.g. Richard Branson. Spelling, grammar and writing can be easily overcome with an editor, however, creativity, soft skills and problem-solving cannot be easily trained.