Name: Alexis Humphrey
Degree subject & University: English at Bangor University
Job Title: Centre Director
How did you find out about this job?
I started with Explore Learning as a part time Tutor back in 2005; I loved the role and thoroughly enjoyed the training and company ethos. When I completed my degree I started to look around at opportunities that were available but couldn’t really find anything else like Explore Learning out there. I had a chat with my Centre Director and she encouraged me to apply for the Assistant Director position. I was drawn to the role because of the fantastic variety it offered, and because I had seen, first hand, how the passion and enthusiasm of all of the staff made such an impact on children’s lives.
Why did you decide to go into this area of work?
I had always enjoyed working with children and never dreamed that I would find a career that let me carry on my passion whilst developing me and exposing me to so many elements of running a business. When I came across the opportunities with Explore Learning I was thrilled that I could have the career and progression I wanted whilst really making a difference to children.
What is it that you actually do?
My role is incredibly varied and means that I get exposure to all elements of the centre operations. Each member in the management team of 3 have their own roles to take complete charge of and manage; these include areas such as finance, recruitment, external marketing, developing and training, schools relationship co-ordinator and many others. Each of these brings new challenges and areas of focus and responsibility. At 3pm the centre opens for children, all of our members are on first name terms with us which helps to create great bonds with them. As a manager I also spend the afternoon mentoring tutors, ensuring that they are doing a good job and that all of our members are happy. Throughout the afternoon I will also hold various different appointments to help aid the growth of the centre and maintain customer relations; these include taster sessions for new members and parent meetings for existing ones.
What do you like most about what you do, and are there any downsides?
I have been with Explore Learning as an Assistant Director now for 2 years and I was recently promoted to become Centre Director of the Epsom centre, which has bought many new challenges, but also a greater level of responsibility and gratification. I found through working with Explore Learning that marketing is something that I have a flair for and gain great satisfaction from; I created a plan for a series of classroom workshops that I thought would work well to enhance our reputation, and presented my idea to the Marketing Manager. She saw potential in my idea and with her help, and that of a marketing committee we brought together, I am now looking forward to my idea being rolled out companywide. The thing I enjoy the most if the creative freedom the company give me and the opportunity to use my initiative, it is a tough role though and whilst it is hugely gratifying it can also be very tiring and you always need to have a smile on your face.
What advice would you give to others looking to work for this company?
It is important that you have had some experience with children in any capacity at all, that way they will know that you are dedicated and confident when communicating with them. Any volunteering that you can do whilst at Uni or actively being a member of a society will help you add world experience to you application and will often give you skills in leadership and promotion. Really use you application form and interviews to sell yourself, Explore Learning will really want to see your passion and personality shine through.