Hi, I am Greer a Programme Manager at Tutors United and every year Tutors United work with a number of City University students who are participating in the university’s Micro-Placement Programme. Through this programme, we are able to offer between 4-5 weeks of work experience in specific areas of our organisation and not only do the participants gain lots of transferable skills, but their placement is now credit baring.
This year I worked with Thaniza, a 2nd-year Criminology student who came on board from City as a Programme Development Assistant and helped me deliver our Summer Challenge programme. These are a series of 1-day challenges run online or face to face that focuses on teamwork and tackling a specific challenge. This year children had to design an education app for children aged 7-10 years old and present their app ideas to a panel of judges at the end of the day.
Over to Thaniza to tell us more
I participated in the City Micro-Placements programme to gain first-hand experience and an insight into the world of professional work. I applied to work with Tutors United as I was particularly interested in the charity sector, and I wanted to be part of a team that was actively making a difference in communities in London. I am also a part-time tutor, so working with Tutors United has given me an understanding of the logistical side of working in a company that provides tuition.
My biggest achievement was developing the summer challenge resources and the activity pack, for the children to complete in their own time. This is because Greer and I had developed all of the resources from scratch, and it was a very enjoyable task to work on. I had also designed certificates and a fake cheque for the children for after they complete the challenge, this was fun as it allowed me to get creative!
The main skill that I have gained from this placement is self-reliance/independence. Although I was guided throughout the process and was in frequent contact with my mentor Greer, working from home meant that I had to take initiative and make decisions about certain things. Also, I had to come up with daily to-do lists to make sure that I was meeting deadlines and completing my tasks efficiently.
This experience has given me real-life exposure to the professional environment and has enhanced my employability skills. For instance, during my placement I have created educational resources for children aged 7-10 years old, I have presented my ideas to a team, I have communicated with parents, and I have worked alongside others to deliver 2 summer challenges. This experience has allowed me to become more independent and use my initiative to carry out different tasks. I have also become more organised as a result of working remotely.
What surprised me the most about my placement is how comfortable I am with presenting and speaking to a group of people (virtually). Naturally, I am a shy person, however, this placement has allowed me to realise that I am completely at ease and confident when it comes to presenting or leading an activity for a group of children.
I would describe this experience as rewarding, valuable and productive.