“It was a wonderful moment and really shows the impact a coach can have.” Our Programmes Manager shares his favourite moments.
Matt, Programmes Manager, has been with us for 6 months and works closely with our talent and corporate partners to run our coaching, CSR and Investment programmes.
Building relationships with Artemis, ASOS, Investec, Mimecast, Kerry Foods, Skanska and GSK over the past few months, you may have seen Matt facilitating coaching training, received some coaching support from him or spotted him eyeing up the biscuits at an event.
Working on the front lines, we spoke to Matt about what his favourite moments of the past 6 months have been and the impact he sees in his role daily.
So, Matt. What’s the most rewarding part of your role?
Seeing the transitions people go through – both our talent and our volunteers. Being able to see someone develop over a period of time, knowing them from the outset and watching them grow and flourish, is massively rewarding. And then it’s that moment of excitement when they receive a job offer, or achieve an academic grade. Knowing that the programme you’ve helped to set up and run has in some way contributed to that success is a fantastic feeling. And also celebrating their successes, something I feel very few of us take enough time to do in work or personal lives.
We hear great stories from our programmes. What’s been your favourite so far?
At one of our coaching programme Celebration Events, where all participants and their coaches reflect on their journey throughout the programme, one of the students was struggling to articulate what he had achieved during the progress. Although he had made monumental progress, the nerves of presenting this back to others, combined with the gratitude he had for his coach, had caused him to ‘freeze’ when in the spotlight. His coach came up to the front, put an arm around him and the two of them recounted their greatest achievements together. It was a wonderful moment and really shows the impact a coach can have. I really believe in the power of partnerships; supporting those around you so that you both grow through the programme.
Matt reached a personal milestone with the recent launch of GSK Unlocked. A proud moment for all involved.
How do you think you’ve developed over your time here?
I oversee the programmes for both our 16-18 year old and 18-24 year old talent. Having to manage multiple projects, with a constant focus on delivery, has really tested my time management and organisation skills. I have learned to also be one or two steps ahead of things, to be able to stay on the front foot at all times!
I have become a better team player I feel. Working in a small company, when the view of everyone is heard and there’s no such thing as departmental silos, it encourages true collaboration and support. I have never before experienced a greater sense of oneness in a company, where everyone is striving to deliver a single mission.
After getting to work with the talent from the Arrival Network, how would you describe them?
They are extremely hard-working. Although I only come into contact with them at our events, through my ongoing communications, be that in a recruitment cycle or mid-programme, it is clear how dedicated they are to their studies or work. It is really a step up from what I remember my friends and I were like at school and university (although maybe that says more about us?!). It is seriously impressive.
Secondly, they are hugely ambitious. They all seek aspirational careers, and are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve these dreams. It gives me great energy to be working with people who want to go out there and have such an impact.
What changes do you see in the corporate coaches and volunteers whilst being on our programme?
I have noticed that their listening skills improve. By affording the time to focus purely on someone else it really heightens your senses, and hang on their every word. They become comfortable with silence and not knowing all the answers, but providing an ear and a considered response. No doubt this has a knock on effect when working with and managing others in their workplace.
Additionally, I love seeing our coaches and volunteers pause and reflect on their own lives and careers, and think about what really matters to them. The process of helping a young person work out their big life decisions creates an environment for the volunteers to take stock and ask themselves what is really important to them.