“Be somebody who makes everybody feel like somebody”

Hello All, my name is Kirsten and I work as a Business Host at the Growth Hub in Oxstalls Campus. I have worked at the Growth Hub since its beginning in 2014 and you will find me situated at the Welcome Desk. My role consists of a long list of responsibilities, growing more each day it seems, but I never thought I would be responsible for mentoring a student.

When I was asked, (well, more so told) that I would be supporting a student as part of the Steps into Work program, I was somewhat hesitant. I had my doubts, as I’m sure anyone would. I grew concerned at the level of responsibility I would be undertaking on this venture. The student would be with me full-time for 7 months and I would be accountable for their, possibly first ever, experience within an office environment. I would have to teach them everything I knew; provide them with enough knowledge and practice to ensure they had enough experience to receive a full time job in the future. That’s a lot of pressure I hear you say, and yes you are right. However, my worries rapidly disappeared as soon as I met Adam.

Adam’s enthusiasm and eagerness to learn quickly helped to ease me into my new role. Once we got to know each other better, I confessed to Adam that I had never taught anyone before. If I wasn’t explaining something correctly or I needed to go into more detail, I wanted him to tell me. I also discovered characteristics about myself, and a talent for teaching that I never knew I had. I never imagined this placement being, not just an internship for Adam, but a learning opportunity for me.

What has stood out for me most from this experience is how extremely rewarding it has been. (Prepare for cheesiness!) Whenever Adam managed to take a phone call by himself, completed a task without asking for help or managed to help a customer with a query, the smile on his face was so heart-warming. To know that I was the one who helped him accomplish something was so gratifying.

I would recommend taking part in this program to anyone that asked and will happily take up the task again if invited. The University is an ever-growing place of education and I see students come and go each day; but it has been such a privilege to be directly involved with the learning and development of a student of my own, and one that I am fortunate to now call my friend.

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Jo Minns says:

A great piece of writing Kristen…from the heart and is a true reflection of how you have been key in securing Adam his very first paid job. Go Girl!

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