This week will mark the end of my first month in my Team Up internship, and I couldn't have asked for a better start.
After spending some time in lockdown pondering the light questions like ‘What is my purpose?’ and ‘What do I want to achieve in life?’, I realised that I had very few clear ideas of what I wanted to do and how to get there. What I did know is that I wanted to be part of improving equal access to education, particularly knowing how the pandemic has impacted already disadvantaged pupils. I didn’t have any experience in the charity sector yet or know which areas of work I would enjoy, so I was looking for a role in an education charity that would give me the opportunity to gain an insight into all the areas that make up a successful charity. Please welcome to the stage: Team Up’s Jack Petchey internship role.
Reading the testimonials of previous Jack Petchey interns, it seemed like the perfect way to not only work with a charity that inspired me, but also to ensure I gained experience across an organisation. On top of that experience, I would be part of a network of 40 other interns working in similar roles and be granted a £1000 bursary solely for my own personal and professional development - talk about a Win Win situation!
I applied for the role of Programme and Systems Coordinator at Team Up as it seemed the perfect fit for me - with a varied job description, the opportunity to apply my skills in data gathering and analysis, and most importantly the opportunity to work for a charity that aims to reduce the widening attainment gap in education by helping underachieving disadvantaged pupils. After getting the chance to demonstrate my research and presentation skills in the interview, I was even more excited about the opportunity to work at Team Up, as it was made clear that they are a team that is always looking to improve and are very open to new ideas.
Within my first few days at Team Up I had the opportunity to take part in team workshops and meetings, learn more about who Team Up are, and feel that my contributions were not only encouraged but valued. After getting to grips with the more technical side of things, learning new systems including Salesforce and the tutor delivery platform Vedamo (shoutout to my line manager Freya and her training videos!), I quickly felt like I was a key member of the team, and that I was supporting the smooth running of Team Up’s programmes.
I have found it already to be a very varied role with lots of opportunities. Alongside working with the Programme Manager team to monitor key performance data and joining tuition sessions to get a firsthand view of the impact Team Up can have on pupils, I have been able to dip my toe into the other areas of Team Up too - including tutor recruitment and fundraising, which I’m looking forward to working more on as my role progresses. The whole team has been welcoming and open, and there is always a member of the team I can go to for help when I’m feeling unsure of a new task, and to have a laugh with!
As the first few weeks have gone by, I have gained more training and responsibilities, and have felt truly trusted. I’ve learnt a lot already about how the pandemic impacted Team Up and its partners, and how the small team adapted to continue to successfully deliver sessions during the pandemic, when their work was needed more than ever. I’ve enjoyed seeing how both pupils and tutors benefit from the programme, and it’s so nice to work with such a dedicated volunteer base who are willing to give up their time to tutor our pupils. It’s brilliant to see the positive relationships that form between tutor and pupil, and how pupils begin to really look forward to their sessions.
Team Up has given me the time to self reflect and discover more about what I enjoy working on, valuing my feedback on my role so far and discussing how I would like to further shape it during my time at TeamUp. I applied for the Jack Petchey internship role at Team Up hoping to gain an understanding of the charity sector, to support young people and their aspirations, and to expand and develop my skills working in these areas - and so far, that’s exactly what I’ve got!
I am so excited to continue working with Team Up, and to make the most of this opportunity that the Jack Petchey internship has given me.