Eleanor E.

Project Coordinator
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Eleanor E.
English and Politics
United Kingdom

My employment

Project Coordinator
Challenge Partners
United Kingdom
Charity and voluntary sector
Small business (0-49 employees)

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A day in the life of a Project Coordinator in the United Kingdom

York graduate with experience in education charities and international development

What I do

I've just returned from Nepal after spending 4 months with Raleigh International as one of their team leaders on the International Citizenship Service programme. This included providing pastoral support to volunteers, facilitating sessions and running training.
Prior to this role I worked as the Project Coordinator for an education charity called Challenge Partners. The charity facilitates collaboration between over 300 schools across the country with the aim of raising education standards for all. I was on a placement with the organisation as part of the Worthwhile graduate scheme, which provides training and placements for graduates aspiring to develop a career in the charity sector.

What I like most

I really like the variety of my responsibilities. My particular role is to offer support for schools by organising events and responding to various support requests. In addition to my work in the office I’ve had the opportunity to visit schools and assist with the charity’s national events. The grad scheme also enabled me to gain training in a variety of areas, including leadership, finance and project management.

How I looked for work

I found out about the graduate scheme through the newsletter of a charity I'd previously volunteered for (Voluntary Services Overseas). If you sign up for different charity's regular news updates you can often find out about other opportunities in the sector. I also attended York careers events, and researched graduate schemes and internships in the charity sector.

How I found out about the job

Via VSO newsletter

The recruitment process

To get onto the graduate scheme I needed to fill in an application form and provide a copy of my CV. I was then invited to an assessment centre where I was interviewed and completed a case study exercise and a group task. Following this stage I was invited to interviews by the organisations that were hosting graduate placements through Worthwhile.

My career goals when I graduated

The most important thing for me was to work for an organisation that makes a positive difference. After really great experiences volunteering throughout college and university I knew that I wanted to work in the charity sector.

My career history

I have volunteered for a variety of organisations including Refugee Action York, Oxfam and Voluntary Services Overseas. I also worked as a higher education support worker throughout university.

My advice to students considering work

Persevere! It was disheartening at times spending lots of time applying for jobs and taking trips across the country for interviews, but keeping going with applications worked out. It sometimes takes a lot of time and it can be a daunting process, but stay positive and keep going.

My advice about working in my industry

Properly research organisations and develop an understanding of their values and aims. It's really important to demonstrate that you're passionate about supporting the organisation in its goals.

The sector can seem really difficult to get into, especially as a lot of opportunities are unpaid. Graduate schemes such as Worthwhile and Charityworks provide a great way to get into the sector, gain experience, and also to develop your skills through training.

Contacting me

I'm happy to be contacted by anyone looking to start a career in the charity sector. I can answer questions about getting experience in the sector, and preparing for assessment centres and interviews.

Next steps...

If you like the look of Eleanor’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Eleanor a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Eleanor to be your mentor.

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