Interested in exploring options for a career in education? In this interview Warwick graduate Molly Inglis describes her role as an Assistant Director at Explore Learning, a private tuition service company. In her role Molly balances sales, management, customer service and educational responsibilities to support pupils in her centre. If you enjoy a varied workload, read Molly’s story to find out if a career at Explore Learning appeals to you!
About the organisation
Explore Learning is a private tuition services organisation with over 140 centres nationwide, dedicated to supporting children aged 4 to 14 with Mathematics and English. Their aim is to help pupils gain confidence and curiosity, by bringing gifted tutors and students together in local centres. In 2018, they were voted 2nd in the Sunday Times Top 25 Companies to work for.
What might a Explore Learning graduate look like?
You will be the type of person who enjoys working with people. You are resilient, innovative and creative. You are willing to try new things, learning from mistakes and championing your wins. To that end, you are receptive to feedback. You will be the type of person who is passionate about education and encouraging children and young people to achieve their goals. You are comfortable managing various tasks and balancing a varied environment, able to make connections between projects across your centre.
The job role
I am an Assistant Director, which is a graduate role with Explore Learning. My job is to deal with the day-to-day management of the tuition centre, supervised by the Centre Director who is responsible for the centre’s vision and staff development. This means that the role is varied, and I could be doing anything including finance, recruitment, tutor-development, and marketing.
A typical day…
My day can usually be split into two or three. In the morning, I will work on centre priorities for the day. This is performance-focused, thinking about the needs of the centre and aligning these to training or seasonal trends. For example, if SATs are coming up, we need to prepare for these carefully and in advance.
In the afternoon, we usually have ‘show time’. This is when we welcome children to the centre, to build relationships and tutor children directly. Sometimes you get to tutor the kids yourself which can be an exciting addition to your day! Alternatively, we might need to shadow or coach our part-time tutors.
In the evening, we might have parent meetings to review a child’s progress and decide on next steps. We also use this time to plan and deliver classes, such as creative writing or 11+.
Alongside my day job
On one day a year, we volunteer for a cause which can be a fun and rewarding opportunity. We are partnered with Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, an organisation which funds specialist children’s nurses and support children with serious illnesses. A colleague and I will be doing a 5K to fundraise for them!
We are part of a region of centres and may be asked to help each other out from time to time. This relationship also means that we get to host socials together, or with tutors.
- Training: 70:20:10 training model. 10% formal training, including introductions to your role and specialisations in making an impact. 20% interactions. 70% learning on the job, such as coaching or shadowing. This also includes online and safeguarding training.
- Job satisfaction: Working with children is so rewarding. Their progress and response make the job worthwhile!
- Networking: Part of the job involves talking to employees from different areas of the business.
- Non-hierarchical leadership: The culture of the company is relaxed, and you are encouraged to call directors directly, rather than go through others.
We receive appraisals every 6 months, where we are assessed against certain objectives. You also need to evaluate yourself against guidelines to identify your strengths and weaknesses. This helps you to monitor your progress against key milestones.
How is the graduate scheme structured?
The nice thing is that this is not like a traditional grad scheme where you have a limited time-frame of say, 2 years. The end goal is to become Centre Director.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of applying to the scheme?
This role can be challenging. However, if you are driven, resilient, and creative, you can learn lots about yourself. With the right support, you will make significant and tangible progress. My advice would be to be clear about your objectives and needs with the connections you make in your centre and beyond.
The great thing is, while you have to enjoy working with children in this role, it’s not all about that all of the time. This role is great for those who would like to work in education and make a difference to children’s lives.