|Short Term Coordinator|
|Christian mission agency|
|Charity and voluntary sector|
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A day in the life of a Short Term Coordinator in the United Kingdom
I love encouraging people to use their passions and skills to help others around the world.
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
I work for Christian mission agency that helps and supports Latin American communities around the world - by sending and receiving volunteers to support local community projects.
What do you do?
I coordinate the short term programmes - for volunteers that wish to serve in Latin America for up to 2 years. This can be students, recent graduates, gap years, teams... I get to equip, support, and mentor those on our programmes as they use their skills and passions to help those that need it most.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
People! I love people and love encouraging people to use their passions and skills to help others around the world.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
Honestly, I had no idea what I was going to do when I graduated- I knew I wanted to be people based and in the charity sector but I had no idea in what capacity.
Describe your most memorable day at work
A phone call from one of the young members of a 3 week team heading to Costa Rica. She had just arrived in London to get to the airport and had her bag stolen - complete with passport, ticket, money... it was a manic few days of hosting her as we got her passport sorted, supporting her as she was understandably anxious, and convincing the airline to give her a free flight to join the rest of the team - successfully!
Are there any challenges associated with your job?
Working with people always comes with challenges, especially when you're enabling people to serve overseas. There are often logistical challenges around visas/flights which can be very frustrating. I also deal with crisis situations if something goes wrong in-country - for example natural disasters, illness/accidents, security situations etc. Alongside this, people who may be homesick or have family emergencies... but it's all part of the work, and often these challenges bring some of the greatest satisfaction of the job.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
I was involved with the church I attended and led a couple of student groups as well as mentoring some younger students. Mentoring skills are very important in this role as I have a lot of pastoral care responsibility in the role.
I also did some sports which was just fun and helped with working in a team, motivating etc.
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
Relax! Make some mistakes, try out jobs you like the sound of and don't worry if you decide it isn't for you. You do not (and probably will not) need to land the perfect job right after you graduate! Use these years to explore and have fun and figure out who you are a bit. Take note of aspects of jobs you most enjoyed, and least enjoyed, piece it together bit by bit- you'll get there!
What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?
If you like the look of Joanna’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Joanna a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Joanna to be your mentor.