One month as a Jack Petchey Intern at Team Up

One month as a Jack Petchey Intern at Team Up

I graduated from my master’s programme feeling different than I ever thought I would on this day in my life - lost...

Posted by Nicole Kairinos on 11 February 2022

...Maybe it’s something we’ve all felt at some point in our lives, when you’re going at a hundred miles per hour, and suddenly everything stops and you realise you don’t quite know where you were running to. 

I had just spent four years in higher education and gotten two degrees, yet I wasn’t sure what was next for me. Although I knew I wanted to work within the education sector, I had no real plan on where to begin or how to make a positive contribution. I decided to put myself out there and see what comes of it. I realised that many important decisions we make in life aren’t perfectly planned, but chances we take when we exercise a bit of faith in ourselves. 

I applied to dozens of positions, each time learning a bit more about what I wanted or didn’t want. Eventually, I came across Team Up. After reading about how they are helping to close the education attainment gap through free tuition, having impacted thousands of children across London, I knew that this would be the application that mattered most. 

I sent off my application hoping for the best, and within two weeks I had gotten an email from the person who would eventually become my manager, Freya, inviting me to an interview with her. After meeting her, and a few others on the team, I was convinced that this was the role for me. Not only did they have a brilliant approach of making education more accessible and equal, they were also a small team of friendly and open-minded individuals who constantly seek to learn and improve. 

It is dizzying, in the best way possible, to think that it has already been one month since I’ve joined Team Up. I already feel that I’ve learned so much during my time here, from analysing reports on SalesForce, recruiting new tutors to help carry out the amazing work of tuition, helping to support Team Up’s programmes, and more.

I’ve also had the pleasure to tutor some of the pupils and observe in-person sessions. I’ve watched students go from being hesitant to partake in the first lesson or feeling insecure about their abilities, to solving new mathematical problems or getting excited about learning unfamiliar words and concepts. My experience so far has validated a belief I’ve held close to me for many years - that everyone can achieve remarkable things when they’re given a fair chance. 

I am so grateful to the Jack Petchey Foundation and Team Up for giving me the opportunity to gain real-world experience of being in the charity sector working on making education more accessible and equal for all children. Not only this, but for also investing in my development through giving me a bursary to learn new skills and providing me with a mentor to walk me through this process. I may not have known how my career would begin, but I couldn’t have imagined a better start than this.