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Brand manager to Frontline participant: “I sold the Frontline Graduate Programme to myself”

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I am one of those people who went to University hoping that one day I would have an epiphany telling me what career path I should take. When I was applying to University, no future job came to mind that really excited me or felt like the right direction for me. Flash forward four years and I find myself heading towards graduation knowing where I want go and feeling both inspired and enthusiastic about my future career in social work.
 
The journey to where I am now really kick-started when I first heard the name ‘Frontline’ at the University Careers Fair. At this point, social work had never crossed my mind as potential job opportunity. There I met the Frontline Brand Manager, who compelled me with some alarming statistics: one-third of the homeless population in the UK have been in care at some point in their life, only 6% of care leavers go to University (as opposed to 38% of all young people), and over a quarter of boys in Young Offenders Institutes in 2011 had spent time in care.
 
It became abundantly clear that there was vital work to be done and that Frontline was a possibility that should be at the forefront of peoples’ minds when thinking about their future. Though I wasn’t sure at the time if social work was right for me, I was sure that the career needed more publicity. So, when the opportunity to become Frontline’s next Brand Manager arose, I snapped it up without a second thought.
 
And what a great decision that turned out to be! Being a Brand Manager was a fantastic experience; it was an excellent opportunity for me to develop many skills that varied from networking and sales, to branding and marketing. This was ideal because I was pretty certain I’d need these skills when applying to the inevitable sales or marketing role that graduates of a Geography degree seem destined to fill. However, the best thing to come out of the role was that I sold the Frontline Graduate Programme to myself.
 
 “Would you like to apply for a two-year, competitively paid, Times Top 100 graduate scheme in locations across England from which you can get both a Postgraduate and Masters degree all while improving the lives of vulnerable children?”
 
Of course I would!
 
What’s more, I found that being a Brand Manager and learning about the charity first-hand meant that, when it came to the application process, I felt as though I already had a head start. I finally got to experience everything I had been explaining to others about the process. Though it was really challenging, the process only fuelled my desire to be a part of the Frontline team and a future social worker. The assessment centre in particular gave me insight into what life as a social worker will be like: working in a team, solving dilemmas, forming meaningful connections with people and, most important of all, trying to make a difference to those that need it most.
 
I am now poised to set off on this career path and to take on these challenges for real. I can’t wait! If it weren’t for the Frontline Brand Manager opportunity, I might still be waiting for that epiphany. 
 
 

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