Making job ‘Connex-ions’. Gaining experience to support my studies and my future employability

The graduate job market is a competitive place. What can you be doing whilst at university to stand out, gain experience and ensure you’re one step ahead of your peers when it comes to securing your dream job? In this student blog we hear from Sophie Chada, BA Primary Education with QTS, who is adding to her CV by gaining paid teaching experience via Connex Education.

Connex Education

I started working for Connex Education in January 2020, after being recommended by a friend who had also been working part-time for the supply agency during her studies at Liverpool Hope University. The recommendation was easy and took a matter of minutes to fill in personal details and what area of supply teaching I would like to work in.

The team at Connex Education contacted me quickly after this to fully sign up and come for an interview at the office. The interview process was very relaxed and the team put me at ease as soon as I entered the office with their friendly and welcoming atmosphere. The interview was more like an opportunity for me to find out about the opportunities the company could offer and for Connex to get to know me a bit better and so it was explained that I would be able to start work as soon as my DBS cleared me for work.

As I am in my third year studying to become a primary teacher, I decided to undertake supply teaching assistant work for Connex as a way to gain further experience in the sector of special educational needs during my days off university.

As I work every Friday the team at Connex will contact me early in the week with informational about where I will be working and support me in planning my route to the school. This gives me time to prepare and get organised for work prior to the morning and so it is beneficial to keep the team up to date with my availability to work.

On each working day, I arrive at the school with my DBS and one form of identification at 8:30 am and I’m greeted by staff and shown to the class in which I will be working that day. The school procedure will vary from school to school. However, each time I have arrived I have been welcomed by friendly staff who have been keen to support my professional development as well as providing me with all the information I will need for my role that day.

If I am returning to a school I have already worked in with Connex it is not necessary to bring a DBS or form of identification as the school will have the information required from previous visits. The work throughout the day includes getting to know the children who I will be working with, carry out the normal functions of the staff member for whom I am covering and taking initiative and supporting the staff I am working alongside.

The working day finishes at 3:30 pm and supply workers are not expected to stay beyond this time although other school staff may remain in school to prepare for the next day.

This has been a fantastic opportunity for developing my professional ability to work as a team to support learners and has given me further classroom experience to develop my practice. I have been able to support myself financially through my third year of study at university whilst at the same time gaining valuable experience that will positively impact on my classroom practice.

This experience will be beneficial when it comes to seeking further job opportunities after I graduate as I now have a range of schools I have experience in and contacts. Furthermore, I’m confident that Connex will be able to support me in completing my NQT year and help further my career either as a teaching assistant or as a qualified teacher.

If you’re looking for work experience or a job Careers & Employability advertise part-time roles, internships, graduate jobs and more on MyCareersCentre

Our Fairs and Events are also a great way to meet employers and develop your employability.

Connex Education recruit Exam Invigilators, Teaching Assistants, Cover Supervisors and Supply Teachers – if you’re training to be a teacher, or interested in teaching as a profession contact Connex to see if you too can gain experience with them like Sophie.

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