|English and Related Literature|
|History and English|
|Charity and voluntary sector|
|Medium-size business (50-249 employees)|
More about Mabel
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A day in the life of a Programme Manager in the United Kingdom
There is this misconception that everyone finds their feet straight away, but certainly this is not the case for most people.
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
upReach is a social mobility charity, with the core mission of supporting undergraduates from less-advantaged backgrounds into graduate employment. We do this through working closely with students, universities, and leading graduate employers in order to level the playing field.
What do you do?
I am a Programme Manager, which involves a range of responsibilities, including; partnership management, where I work in collaboration with Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity and Inclusion teams from large tech companies; programme design, where I create and implement a 3 year programme of development for 500 students; and direct student delivery work; where I mentor students from underrepresented groups.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
I joined my current organisation before even graduating from York! I needed to secure a full-time role to support myself straight after university, so this was perfect for me. I really utilised the careers resources provided by the university to help me with this goal. I'm joined on the Future Charity Leaders Graduate Scheme, which is a 2 and a half year graduate programme at upReach, where you get to rotate around different areas of charity management for 1 day a week, with the other 4 being in a core delivery role.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
Yes and No - I was always driven to enter the charity sector, but was worried that, coming from a low-income background, I would be limited by this career choice, both in terms of progression and renumeration.
Describe your most memorable day at work
My most memorable day at work has to be delivering a public speaking presentation to over 100 students. Needless to say, this was a very nerve-wracking experience, especially as here I needed to lead by example! I put a lot of effort and time into preparing for my session, which paid off, as I felt really confident delivering the session, despite the intimidating audience! This resulted in some really positive feedback about the content I'd delivered and my presentation style, which was a key achievement of mine given how nervous I had initially been when tasked with this assignment.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
I was a Captain on York Hornets Cheerleading, which was by far the best part of my time at university. From this role, I gained leadership and teamwork skills which have been instrumental in my career so far. I was also a STYC in my second year, which helped me with my communication and empathy - both of which are key when building professional relationships. Throughout my time at York, I had various part-time jobs, retail, bar-work, babysitting, participating in experiments! My real world experience was key in my professional development, as I had never even set foot in an office before starting my Graduate Scheme!
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
It is uncommon to graduate straight into your dream role! There is this misconception that everyone finds their feet straight away, but certainly this is not the case for most people. Be flexible in your plans and account for as many possibilities as you can - this will help you feel less stressed when things inevitably go wrong.
If you like the look of Mabel’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Mabel a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Mabel to be your mentor.