University. A time for studying, meeting new people – and inevitably, the dreaded careers fair. Last year, I was in that position – strolling between the rows and rows of banks and consultancy firms, all vying for the best graduates. It was also at this time that I discovered Frontline, and the amazing difference that the charity makes to the lives of vulnerable children.
When I approached Frontline’s stand, I was immediately drawn to some of the alarming statistics that were on display: children in care are six times more likely to be cautioned or convicted of an offence than other children (Who Cares Trust 2016), whilst children in need in England are over nine times more likely to be permanently excluded from school (UK GOV 2015). As shocking as these statistics seemed, I was even more interested in learning about what Frontline was, and more importantly, what it was doing to combat these.
It was at this point that I was introduced to Frontline’s Newcastle University Brand Manager, who told me about Frontline’s mission to transform the lives of vulnerable children by recruiting and developing outstanding individuals to be leaders in social work and broader society.
Not an easy mission to accomplish, I am sure you will agree. However, I was fascinated to hear of the progress that Frontline had already made towards making society more equal for all children, even though Frontline’s first cohort only began the Leadership Development Programme just two years previously. Clearly, Frontline were pioneers in changing children’s social work for the better – they recognised the scale of the problems that some disadvantaged families face, yet they weren’t afraid of the challenge. It was this attitude and commitment to helping children and young people that made me realise that I wanted to join Frontline’s movement for change.
Fast-forward a year, and I am now the Frontline Brand Manager at Newcastle University. Just like my predecessor, it’s my responsibility to ensure that Frontline has a strong brand presence on campus. Whether it’s promoting opportunities such as Frontline’s student internships, or highlighting that Frontline is one of the few charities within The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers, placed at 42 – a position that will likely only increase as Frontline’s fantastic work becomes more well-known across UK universities.
So, how have I found my first term as a Brand Manager? Busy, would be my first answer – but in a good way! Without doubt, applying to become a Brand Manager was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Through my paid, part-time role, I have had the opportunity to meet a wide range of people, who I otherwise wouldn’t have met. Meanwhile, I have developed numerous transferable skills, from networking to marketing, public-speaking to planning – skills which I am sure will be very beneficial in my future career.
During my first term, I assisted at a number of Frontline’s campus events, whilst I also gained a unique insight into the charity sector. As many students will agree, it is often very difficult for undergraduates to gain paid experience in the charity sector. Additionally, the flexibility of the role has allowed me to fit my Brand Manager responsibilities around my third year studies.
My favourite aspect of being a Brand Manager is that I know that with every conversation I have with someone about Frontline, I am playing my part, however small, in changing social work for the better. As Frontline is still a relatively new charity, it is keen to listen to my ideas and opinions. Similarly, despite Frontline’s gradual expansion, it has still kept its culture of inclusivity – there is always someone at head office that I can telephone or email for help, whilst I know that I have the support of my fellow Brand Managers across the UK.
In the future, I plan to pursue a career in teaching. With the experiences I have already had as a Brand Manager, and the experiences I will undoubtedly have in my second term, I know that I am a better prepared for the exciting challenges which await me.
With that, I have only one question left to ask: are you ready to join Frontline and be part of our movement for change? It doesn’t matter what you study – as long as you believe in Frontline’s mission, Frontline’s range of opportunities will be of interest to you.
Ready to help make change? Apply today!
Applications to become a Brand Manager are open until 31 March, click here to apply.