A note from Jess
It’s been a fantastic few days really getting stuck into the solutions team and meeting Sarah for the first time. We had two days with Jen soaking up all the admin and introductory information as well as squeezing in a meeting with the Yorkshire LEP which really put into perspective the schools we need to target. On Thursday I had a birthday trip to the west midlands to sit in on their end of year partners meeting which was again very informative and interesting. Although I am still trying to process a lot of the information I’ve received I feel like things have started to fall into place. This has been helped a lot by the fact that the Yorkshire school recruitment is well underway with four schools already signed up and others in active contact. I booked my first Big Ideas Day on Monday and have been chatting to two potential new schools this morning so I feel like everything is going in the right direction! Looking forward to my first 1-2-1 with Jen later on and then hopefully I’ll be ready to start contacting schools and pushing the programme forward.
A note from Sarah
Has it really only been one week?! When I saw the ad for the job, it sounded like everything I wanted to do, at a social enterprise I wanted to be a part of. It combined my experience as a teacher trainer, as well as my work in the utilities industry, and focused on sustainability and community – it ticked everything on my list! The day after that Skype interview I landed in the UK and I heard from Jen that she really needed to meet me face to face, to make her final decision. So the next morning I was on a ferry to Portsmouth, and then a train to Bristol to meet her. The meeting went well, and she offered me the job, which I happily accepted. “When can you start?,” she asked me. “As soon as you need me,” I replied. 12 days after leaving Canada, it was Monday morning, my first day with S4TP as Program Coordinator for the West Midlands.
Tuesday and Wednesday in Leeds involved a lot of information, but was a super introduction to the job and the company. It was great to spend a few days getting to know Jess a little, and to meet the fantastic Project Rome team, as well as to meet the 4th member of the S4TP team, Razali, via Skype, in our first full team meeting. Wednesday I also got to sit in on a meeting with Lindsey Johnson to find out more about S4TP’s relationship with the LEP (Local Enterprise Panel) in Leeds, which will be very useful for my own meetings with the WM (West Midlands) LEPs. Wednesday afternoon Jen and I headed back to our respective homes.
On Thursday I worked from home in the morning, getting to grips with all the induction information, and also taking a look at the dates of upcoming events that S4TP may be interested in attending. And then it was time to meet the WM partners. Doug Brown from Brammaer, Jen, Jess and I all met at Portland House in Solihull, Tarmac’s Head Office. The meeting included Jo Jones from Tarmac, and I took the minutes, which was a great way of not only seeing how a Partner Meeting should go (as I will be doing them in the future), but also finding out a lot of information about what has been going on in the WM area.
After the meeting, there was a small end-of-year mentor celebration to thank and recognise the Tarmac mentors from the 2015-16 program, as well as an overview for those who wanted to become or continue as mentors for this year’s program. This was an invaluable experience for me to see how Jen explains and promotes the program, as well as to be able to mingle with the past and prospective mentors afterwards, putting names and faces together.
And today is Friday, the end of my first week on the job. And my mind is buzzing with the things I have to get done, and the excitement of what’s to come! I am so grateful to Jen and the board for giving me this opportunity, and I can’t wait to really get the ball rolling with the Big Ideas Days and all that they entail. I knew I wanted to work with this company when I read about them, and after having spent a week with Jen, seeing her in action, and seeing and hearing about the positive things the partners and mentors have to say about the company and the program, I know I made the right choice in accepting the position with S4TP. It is already achieving greatness, but I see more and more of that as we continue to grow. These are exciting times and I am proud to be a part of this incredible team!