In the space of a year I went from an NCS Team Leader to a Programme Intern & Phase 2 Co-ordinator for our NCS Summer programme. Now if you told me that this was going to happen a year ago when I first joined Elevation Networks, I wouldn’t have believed you. So much has happened and I did not expect to be sitting here, writing about my time as an Intern but sometimes life gives you lemons – BIG ones!
Being a programme intern has not only tested me in regard to taking ownership of facilitating the workshops that took place at the University of Hertfordshire, but also allowed me step up and push myself to greater heights, which I never thought I was capable of doing so. When I first started out, I presumed that being an intern consisted of administration work, assisting my manager and overall being an extra help in the Hertfordshire office. I was very wrong. Being given the opportunity to co-ordinate and create timetables for Phase 2 (including running my own session on Fridays, Live Below the Line) & running Dragons Den on Phase 3 was a massive opportunity to take on. I was determined to make both of these tasks a success.
At first I felt extremely overwhelmed, this is because I was taking in a lot of information. I was nervous that if I didn’t succeed it would reflect back badly on EN. After speaking to my manager about my concerns, I was reassured that I was the girl for this job! Working as in intern has really opened my eyes to the logistics & planning side of our NCS programme. There is so much work that happens behind the scenes and being a part of this meant that I was adding to our young people’s experience on their NCS journey. When I was a team leader, I had an insider knowledge about what worked on programme and what didn’t work. By using this knowledge, I was able to re-work Phase 2 and create a week that was not only beneficial to staff, but to our young people. The people who mattered the most.
Heading over to the University of Hertfordshire each week and being the main point of contact for our delivery staff, charity partners and workshop providers deemed a big responsibly at first. No one’s first week ever goes well and mine surely didn’t, but I needed that. I needed to see what wasn’t working on programme as this would affect not just the young people, but our staff as well. I quickly realised that problems will occur and I needed to be open & adapting to these changes. After spending weeks and weeks perfecting our phase 2 timetables just to see all my hard work go to waste was heart-breaking, but ensuring that our staff and young people had a stress-free phase 2 was so important (even if that meant I took on all their stress!).
Looking back now that our NCS programme is finished for the summer, I wouldn’t change a single thing! I’ve loved every moment I’ve spent with staff and our young people onsite. However, I’ve loved being in the office the most! The colleagues I worked with – Anthony, Sophie, Gill, Bethel & Richard – have made my days 10x more enjoyable knowing that they will forever lift my spirits or assist me when something didn’t go my way. I can’t thank them enough for all the support that they have given me in the last 3 months. So, this isn’t the end. Being a part of Elevation Networks has really encouraged me to pursue working in the charity sector further, so I hope that this isn’t the last of my NCS journey.
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