Making Study a Reality

This morning saw me heading off to the University I study at for a job interview regarding a part-time position within the student support department. Ten o’clock was the time in my mind as I got myself together after another poor night’s sleep and headed in on the ever more sluggish Trent bus into the city.

Of course many would identify with the odd butterfly in these circumstances but truly I find this less and less over the years. I’m sure this is the result of experience which includes quite a bit of public speaking, exam preparation and meeting many new people through classes and meetings within the Higher Education system. Additionally when you’ve had to face up to brand new classes of thirty-odd children working as a temp in teaching it tends to prime you for the worst. Speaking to an interview panel of three people seems relatively relaxing!

The position(s) advertised were for a Disability Support Worker. The main duties include going into lectures with students who have disabilities and writing their notes for them. This can be people with dyslexia, hearing or visual impairments and other disabilities.

Arriving impossibly early in the city in spite of the bus’s best attempts, there was all too much time for one of those long, dragging, aimless walks around when you really, really have to be on time for something and so make sure and arrive on what feels like the previous day. It was only a few days ago that the email arrived asking me if I’d like to re-apply for the re-advertised positions, I considered.

Working in roles helping others has been something of a theme for me since leaving my original long-time career in the print trade. It’s been an enduring and warm feeling actually, being able to extract satisfaction from various jobs, as a teaching assistant within Special Needs education, support worker and learning support assistant. It’s been very much an education for me too. It’s also been very difficult at times. Oh yes. Some of the problems presented by working with Special Needs children are very testing indeed, some of them comedically and surreally so. Others have one questioning the world and it’s attitudes and behaviours.

Today’s interview activities began with a friendly introduction. It’s always been gratifying to me to note how genuinely nice people who work within these type of jobs are, it’s another pleasant reason for being involved in work that directly helps others. Shortly afterwards and a glass of orange juice later it was time for the pertinent skills tests for the role before finally a panel interview with three members of staff. What is the best way to approach interviews? I don’t particularly have the answer to that far-reaching question but my approach tends to be one of treating it as a friendly conversation and to attempt to establish a genuine and easy rapport just as one might with any other individual. What does one have to lose?

My morning ended I wandered off for coffee and a meet with my partner afterwards having been informed that our applications will be considered and decided upon for next week, just as one expects perhaps. What I didn’t actually expect was the phone call not long after returning home…offering me the job.

Time to get back into my ‘helping’ role in life again and I’m very happy about that.

2 thoughts on “Making Study a Reality”

  1. Congratulations. I’ve done quite a bit of that kind of work myself. It taught me a lot-not quite as much as becoming a crip myself, but a lot none the less.

    One daft thing I learned: being in the same room as a braille printer for any length of time gives you a massive headache. Perhaps newer ones are quieter!

  2. Congrats again Stu! There are some very fortunate people who, in the near future, will be drawn by your gentle, loving nature, just the way I was.


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