Viknesh joined IntoUniversity as an Education Worker in January 2020 having originally heard about the charity through volunteering work he undertook with his university.
Why did you choose to work at IntoUniversity? Why not another organisation?
I really appreciated the way IntoUniversity has a holistic long-term way of working with young people. Running programmes with schools and students in the community means they get to have a longstanding relationship with the organisation where they not only experience opportunities they might not usually such as internships, visiting universities or taking part in holiday programmes, but [they] also get a programme of support tailored to their learning and pastoral needs.
What do you most enjoy/find most rewarding about working at IntoUniversity?
I find watching the journey of young people grow and develop when working with us to be most rewarding. For younger students, watching them learn about what their future could look like and building aspirations at such an early age inspires me in a way that I hope all children could feel. For older students, creating a safe and supportive space for them brings me a lot of joy, knowing that they can come to us when they need support [enabling them to reach] their potential and achieve great things.
What skills have you gained since working at IntoUniversity?
I have really appreciated how important teamwork is in the organisation both on a centre and network-wide level. I really like being able to work on so many different projects and meet people from different parts of the country in a manner that I’m not sure a lot of organisations normally would. Overall I have gained a lot more confidence in my project management and leadership skills.
Would you recommend working at IntoUniversity to others? If so, why?
I would recommend IntoUniversity to anyone who knows they want to work in an environment where the aim is striving to make a difference in the lives of young people facing barriers to education and careers. The delivery of programmes brings positivity and joy to my working day, and this is made even better by having an organisation that values the development and aspiration of its employees as much as the young people it strives to help.
How would you summarise your experience of working at IntoUniversity?
In short, working at IntoUniversity has developed my confidence and ability to work with young people, in addition to project and programme management. The smiles on the faces of the young people at the end of programme are definitely one of the biggest motivating factors and I always look forward to the next time we work with those young people again!