After studying Law at Newcastle, Thomas decided to pursue a career in teaching. We caught up with Thomas to hear about why he chose Teach First and how he found the application process.
Why did you choose this firm and this role?
Despite studying Law at Newcastle University, I realised in my second year that I wanted to pursue a non-legal career. I have always been interested in embarking upon a career in public services, as I have previously enjoyed working in an educational setting and I have a strong interest in public policy.
After deciding that I wanted to work in the classroom, I began to explore the potential ways in which I could begin my career in teaching. It was at this point when I discovered Teach First. Teach First is a fantastic charity, which believes that no child's educational success should be limited by their socio-economic background. At present, over 10,000 participants have embarked upon the organisation's Training Programme, where participants teach within a school in a low socio-economic area, whilst also working towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE). The Training Programme begins with the Summer Institute, a five-week programme of intensive teacher training - this is what I am currently completing. After two years, Teach First participants become Ambassadors, whose task is to continue the Teach First mission into the next stage of their career - whether or not they choose to remain in the classroom.
I decided to apply to Teach First as I enjoy the idea of being part of a national movement, whilst also being excited by the challenge of working in a disadvantaged school.
What was the toughest part of the application process and what was your favourite part?
The toughest part of the application process was delivering a mock lesson. However, having said that, the mock lesson also proved to be my favourite (and most rewarding) part!
Were you surprised by anything in the process?
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the whole process, and by how many fantastic people I met at the assessment centre - some of whom I am still in contact with.
What three top tips would you give your fellow Bright Network members?
1) Only apply for jobs you are genuinely interested in - you are more likely to be successful!
2) Be yourself - after all, there is a reason why you have been invited to an interview.
3) Talk to the other candidates - they will all be just as nervous as you are, so why not help calm each others' nerves?
What's your lucky charm or pre-interview ritual?
Arrive early and go for a pre-interview coffee - it always calms the nerves!