Elleis is an Education Worker at IntoUniversity Govan and joined the charity in January 2021. She has a Human Resource Management and Marketing degree from the University of Strathclyde. Before graduating, Elleis worked as a Widening Access Mentor at Focus West and was a Marketing Intern for the Student RAG Magazine.
Why did you choose to work at IntoUniversity? Why not another organisation?
IntoUniversity’s unique model of providing long-term academic and pastoral support stood out to me the most. As a first generation university student from a rural former mining village, I did not have a lot of cultural capital especially when it came to knowledge of higher education and I did not explore the option of university until my final years in school. Introducing terminology around higher education, apprenticeships, and career paths in general is absolutely key to raising aspirations and increasing social mobility for young people with adverse circumstances. I wanted to be part of an organisation that not only recognises the potential of every student but nurtures it to grow.
What do you most enjoy/find most rewarding about working at IntoUniversity?
The most rewarding part for me is building relationships with our young people. There is no better feeling than watching someone develop and grow over time. Whether it be with their academic work, social skills or their plans for the future. Although my centre has been open for less than a year, so many of our students have come on leaps and bounds in this time, especially when it comes to their confidence. Getting to know our young people and watching them come out of their shells makes every day worth it at IntoUniversity.
What skills have you gained since working at IntoUniversity?
This is my first full-time position since graduating university and I have developed so much as a professional. From learning how to liaise with school contacts and managing both student and parent relationships, my interpersonal skills have advanced greatly. No two days are the same at IntoUniversity and there are various development opportunities outside of the programmes you manage. While I manage Primary FOCUS primarily, I also take on other responsibilities that aid my team and the wider network. My organisational skills have been strengthened by the variety of my tasks. It has also been great becoming more confident in my delivery and forming my own delivery style.
Would you recommend working at IntoUniversity to others? If so, why?
I could not recommend IntoUniversity enough. Working here never feels like work; I enjoy spending time with my team, inspiring students, and developing personally and professionally. Most of all, I feel fulfilled knowing that my job makes a difference. The staff across the network are unbelievably kind and welcoming; everyone looks out for each other and wants you to succeed. I have been well supported from the start and my achievements, no matter how small, have always been recognised.
How would you summarise your experience of working at IntoUniversity?
I could not have picked a better organisation to kick start my career in widening participation. In my first year of being an Education Worker, I have never felt unsupported; there has always been someone there to help and cheer me on. I was heard and trusted by my managers from day one and I am grateful for the autonomy I have had when managing my strand and working on tasks. In the coming months, I am looking forward to applying for my SEW [Senior Education Worker] promotion and advancing my career with IntoUniversity.