Fintan O’Hagan, 22, found his perfect first job after graduating.
I graduated from university in 2020 and was looking for work. I wanted to do something that I felt would be a valuable contribution to society and came across the Academic Mentor role. It seemed like a brilliant way to help in the fightback against the pandemic and the harm it had done to so many children’s educational progress. I joined Camelot Primary School in Peckham, South London, and I’m really pleased to be still at the school now, as they kept me on as an Academic Mentor for 21/22.
“I teach shortened recap lessons that tended to be 15-20 minutes long”
I am a primary school numeracy mentor, so a lot of my focus is on maths. In the mornings, I typically work with the teacher in class helping students with the work they are doing, looking to identify those who are struggling with certain topics. Then, later in the day, I take smaller groups and teach shortened recap lessons that tend to be 15-20 minutes on the topics that they have struggled with.
“I’ve been able to integrate with the teaching team quickly”
I had regular meetings with my line manager to help me settle at the school and to plan lessons and I could ask any questions I had. I also work closely with the class teachers to familiarise myself with the curriculum and schemes of learning. Being part of the staff briefings/meetings every week is something that is helpful too, as it has allowed me to quickly integrate into the team.
“I love the challenges that the role poses every day”
I would certainly recommend becoming an Academic Mentor. I love the challenges that it poses every day, and if you are looking to work in schools, or prepare yourself for a career in education, it is the perfect first job. It is a hugely fulfilling role. You will be proud to say that you have helped some of the most vulnerable school children recover from the effects the pandemic has had on their education.
It is a job I really enjoy and find interesting, and while I am still deciding what to do with my long-term career, it is a brilliant job to have and one that I am lucky to do.