What did you study at university?
I didn't know what career I wanted to pursue after I’d finished the IB at school, but I knew I wanted to keep studying a language, so I chose to do a joint honours of business studies and French at the university of Manchester.
What was the next step you took after graduating?
Once I graduated, I moved back home for the summer to earn some money, whilst waiting to hear back from the graduate schemes I’d applied to. All these applications had been lengthy and tedious and, although I managed to get through a couple of stages for some of them, most of them fell through.
Finally, with Next, I went all the way to the assessment day and face to face interview. I originally applied to Next as it was in the perfect location because we were planning on moving down to the Midlands from the Lake District. Luckily, I was successful and started the job as soon as I'd found somewhere to live!
Why did you join Next?
It was a combination of things; I thought the job sounded really interesting and I could use some of the things that I’d learnt in my degree. It was also in the perfect location. At this point, I still wasn't sure what career I wanted to pursue in the long run, so I thought this might be my opportunity to figure that out. Plus, I thought having a big name like 'Next' on my C.V. could only be a good thing.
What didn't you like about working there?
I quickly realised that the role wasn’t for me. The size of the company was daunting and I didn't feel like I was having any impact on the firm or the customers.
How did you find INICIO?
I stumbled across INICIO when we came to visit Market Harborough during our first few weeks living in the Midlands. I had always had teaching in the back of my mind so, when I saw jobs advertised for INICIO, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to explore this idea.
What makes our work environment different to the one at Next?
It is completely different; of course the size differs hugely but also the atmosphere and, obviously, the actual role! I love everything about the studio, not only teaching but also doing all of my other work. It’s relaxed and a great place to teach the students; they all feel comfortable when they come in because of the more homely environment in comparison to a school. I look forward to coming into work and I go home feeling like I've helped students and been productive.
How is your typical working week different?
My working hours have been one of the most significant changes. I used to get up at about 6/half 6 and leave the house by 7 on a Monday and half 7, at the latest, for the other days to start for 8 (Mondays) and half 8 the rest of the week. In general, I used to work about half 8 to half 5/6 but finished at 4:45/5 on a Friday; there were obviously times where we needed to stay later though. My hours at INICIO are completely different and the late start on a Tuesday allows me to go back to the Lakes on weekends and get two full days up there, which is great.
Would you recommend working at INICIO to other graduates?
Without a doubt! Whether you are looking for a few hours a week to add to an existing role, where you can make use of your degree with our specialist roles, or a PA, part time/full time job, there are a variety of roles to suit so many people. I have loved every minute of working at INICIO and know that I will continue to do so :)
Charlotte Wood’s graduation journey
Questions by Amelia Bargh