I spoke to third year English Literature and Linguistics student Lucy, who is a
brand manager for Teach First at Newcastle University. A lot of us see
the Teach First branding in and around uni, but what actually is
it? And what opportunities can it offer you?
Me: Could you explain what Teach First actually is?
Lucy: Yes, Teach First is a non-profit organisation that aims to tackle educational inequality in the UK. We aim to place the top university graduates into teaching roles in schools to raise grades and aspirations of children that need it the most.
Me: Okay, so what is your role for Teach First?
Lucy: I am a Brand Manager on the Newcastle Uni campus, promoting undergraduate and graduates opportunities to students, raising brand awareness and explaining our mission of working towards a day where no child’s life is limited by their socio-economic background . I help run Teach First events across the year, attending careers fairs, running stalls and doing lecture shouts etc.
Me: How did you get into Teach First?
Lucy: I took part in the Triple E* challenge last year sponsored by Accenture and I basically got scouted after one of my pitches. They thought it would be good to get involved and I’ve been working for them ever since. Teach First has four platinum partners: Accenture, PWC, Goldman Sachs and the Royal Navy.
Me: If you could recommend one exciting feature of Teach First, what would it be?
Lucy: Well, we have our Taster Programme, which is a one day skills session exclusively for first years. It’s a really useful opportunity where you get to understand your personal strengths and development areas in order to progress into a job after uni, as well as having a Times Top 100 Employer on your CV. Anyone that takes part may be interested in our two year LDP scheme, which is our Leadership Development Programme for graduates, and both second and third years can apply.
Me: So, do you have to be a teacher at the end of it?
Lucy: Well, no, many participants that do the 2-year LDP go on to work in another sector. Some of the recent ambassadors of the scheme have gone on to work as Education Consultants, Senior Associates at PwC or even Analysts at Accenture, so the career opportunities go far beyond the scope of the classroom. But if you want to stay in teaching, we have ambassadors who have gained their Masters in Education and many now in senior teaching positions. During the programme you’ll also gain a fully-funded Postgrad Diploma in Education (PGDE), covering both education and leadership, and worth double the credits of a PGCE, to become a qualified teacher. You’ll also acquire the key analytical and leadership skills that big companies require, so it’s much more than just teaching specific skills. If you do the LDP you will teach for two years and then afterwards you can decide to stay on in teaching, or move onto another career path.
Me: You mentioned there was often campus events…
Lucy: Yes, there is actually a PIZZA presentation with Teach First on the 23rd November, 13:30-15:30 in PERCY BUILDING. It’s an exclusive drop-in pizza lunch for English students! I would highly recommend you open an application in advance of our upcoming events to get the most out of them, as we can chat to you about any questions you have regarding your application.
Me: Sounds great, thanks for your time, Lucy!
you can apply to the graduate scheme at graduates.teachfirst.org.uk
* – Triple E challenge is offered to second year English undergraduates, taking time out from studying to experience a real life business challenge. (Held in Feb)