Bright Network member Jonathan tells us how he successfully secured a graduate role with Teach First and gives his top tips to others wanting to follow in his footsteps.
Why did you choose Teach First when you were applying for graduate opportunities?
I’m President of the University of York’s African Caribbean Society and this is where I first came across Teach First as they’re one of our sponsors. I often saw their friendly faces on campus too and this is how I found out about the range of opportunities available for undergraduates.
Teach First is a vision led organisation seeking to make education fairer for those from all walks of life and this appealed to me because educational inequality is an issue that resonates strongly with me.
Because of my STEM degree I decided to apply for the STEM Internship to get a further insight into the Training Programme – as I was successful and this led to my graduate role also being fast tracked!
What stands out to you about Teach First?
Teach First as a graduate employer stood out to me because I noticed the disparity in quality of education depending on where you grew up all through my youth. As someone who went to state schools within South East London, I noticed that the quality of education you received was dependent on whether you were fortunate to be within the catchment area of an “Outstanding” school and hugely dependent on your socio-economic background.
Teach First has aims to ensure that no child is disadvantaged in this way, and is developing inspirational teachers to ensure students succeed no matter what their background.
What top tips would you give to other Bright Network members considering Teach First or a graduate opportunity in general?
When applying to Teach First, think about what it was like studying at school and put yourself in the shoe of a student. What made certain lessons memorable? What made certain subjects interesting?
Consider your experience with different teachers, and emulate the competencies that you noticed made for a great learning experience.
But it’s not all about teaching, the assessment process tests a range of competencies that you can find out about on their website and as a Bright Network member, you will be supported the entire way.