Teach First is one of the top graduate destinations of the University of St Andrews. Here at the PSC, we had the opportunity to interview Pete Woodward, Graduate Recruitment Officer for Teach First, about what it is like to join their Leadership Development Programme, and how you can best prepare for the application process.
PSC: How is working for Teach First as a graduate different from working in other industries
Pete: As a Teach First participant you are given real responsibility from day one, working as a teacher in the classroom making a difference in children’s lives. That kind of responsibility can’t be afforded by most graduate employers. And you go home each day knowing the work you do truly matters which is incredibly motivating.
You’re also studying towards a Postgraduate Diploma as a Teach First participant, so you don’t have to leave academia behind completely when entering the workplace.
PSC: Can you describe working for Teach First in 3 words?
Pete: Rewarding, Challenging, and Energetic.
PSC: What professional skills do you believe to be the key to success?
Pete: Resilience, evaluation, and teamwork.
Check out our Teamwork lectures, ‘Understanding Thinking Styles’ on 3rd April, and ‘Valuing Diversity’ on 20th April.
For boosting your resilience, our workshop ‘Dealing with transitions’ on 26th April will benefit your Ability to work under pressure.
Our workshops on Problem solving can help your resilience in the workplace.
PSC: What would you recommend students do in order to boost their chances of securing a graduate job?
Pete: Engage with extracurricular opportunities that will give you a diversity of examples when completing applications and attending interviews. Also get experience of assessment centres through applying for internships or activities ran at the University.
PSC: What do you wish you had learned earlier in your career?
Pete: To seek feedback, even if it may not be positive. You develop so much quicker if you’re getting timely and constructive feedback on a regular basis.
PSC: What advice would you give final year students who are unsure about their career paths?
Pete: Don’t worry. You don’t need to have it all figured out. Our two-year leadership development programme develops leaders not only in the classroom, but many other industries and sectors. Look for graduate roles that open up opportunities rather than take you down a specific route. These opportunities do exist you just need to do your research.
Find more about the Teach First application process here.