|Student Recruitment and Outreach Officer|
|Large business (250+ employees)|
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A day in the life of a Student Recruitment and Outreach Officer in the United Kingdom
Having taught for 3 years, I decided that I wanted to take a break and move out of the classroom but still support and work with young people.
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
I work for a University based in London which offers a range of different subjects and courses to students.
What do you do?
My role involves working with schools and colleges to give advice and support to students looking to go to university. I give presentations on topics such as personal statements and student finance to ensure students can make informed decisions. My role is mainly focused on subject-specific outreach which means I organise and host events to promote my universities courses for example an engineering experience day. I also regularly liaise with teachers and careers advisors to build relationships and organise outreach and in my role I account manage schools. I also work with the universities Student Ambassadors hiring them for events and organising training to support their work.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
Having taught for 3 years, I decided that I wanted to take a break and move out of the classroom but still support and work with young people. While in my teaching post, I worked with a local university, taking students to their campus and this exposed me to what outreach was. I felt like it was a good way to transition out of the classroom and use my expertise and knowledge of schools/ colleges to support my new role. When I decided to make the move out of teaching, I browsed opportunities on university websites and LinkedIn and decided to apply for a few roles. I had an interview in which I had to also give a presentation and this landed me my job.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
I did think originally that I would stay longer in teaching however I found that I did not achieve the work life balance I desired in teaching. While I am still 'young' I decided I would take a break and pursue something different, yet related, before returning back to the classroom in the future. I think I have made the right decision as I still get to work with students and teachers regularly but also complete a variety of responsibilities while being able to maintain a healthy work life balance.
Describe your most memorable day at work
My most memorable moment so far has been finding ways to overcome the effects of the pandemic on outreach. As I am unable to go to schools in-person or ave students on campus I have worked closely with my team to develop ways to deliver outreach virtually. The first virtual live presentation I did for a school was enjoyable as I could see the students on the screen and could observe how interested they were in my presentation. It was nice to have found a way to still engage with students during tough times.
Are there any challenges associated with your job?
The main challenges I face in my role is building contacts with schools and colleges when the university market is so large. There is an element of competition and this means that sometimes you have to think of creative solutions to the way that you engage with others.
What’s your work environment and culture like?
I work in an office with my team and the wider marketing department. Due the pandemic, I have been working from home mostly in this role however I enjoy talking to colleagues on virtual platforms. I have found it much easier than my teaching role to switch off and create a good work live balance. I will eventually have to commute into the office which will bring its challenges but I am looking forward to being able to work in person when I is safe to do so.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
I unfortunately was not very active with clubs and societies during my time at university. However I did get involved with 'York Students in Schools' which gave me a grounding in working in a schools/ with young people. This experience taught me time management, organisation and communication skills which have all been invaluable in my working roles so far.
What would you like to do next with your career?
I would like to stay in my current role a little longer in order to develop my knowledge of the sector however I would eventually like to move up to a more senior role. I do see myself going back to teaching in the distant future as well.
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
My top tips are to apply for as many jobs as you can (that you are interested in) and don't be disheartened if you do not hear back from some. This unfortunately is the competitive nature of the job market. Get a LinkedIn profile and use that to search daily for new roles. Create a clear CV and when you land an interview you can never prepare too much. Practise answers, get someone else to practise questioning with you and do your research on the company to make a good impression.
What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?
I am happy to answer any questions on secondary teaching, SEN teaching, Teach First or student recruitment/ outreach at University. I am also happy to help with general questions on life after graduation.
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