As Enabling Enterprise expands its team, Anna Chojnicka looks at what it’s like to be an Education Associate in the UK’s third fastest growing social enterprise.

Being part of a start-up is like working with kids: everyday is different, and you never stop learning.
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The Organisation

With an alliance of 25 top businesses, Enabling Enterprise brings the world of work in to the classroom through lesson time projects and challenge days. So one Year 5 class learnt about the environment by developing eco toys of the future, and then presented them at Hamleys. Another Year 9 group developed their literacy by writing a school magazine, which they launched at international media firm OMD. Now in our fourth academic year, 20,000 students across the UK are leading innovative enterprise projects, developing the skills, experiences and aspirations that they need to be successful at school and beyond.
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Education Associates

As we continue to grow and learn, the Education Associate role forms the backbone of the organisation, driving the effectiveness and impact of our programmes. It is a varied role, tailored to the skills and expertise of each individual, and therefore difficult to define. However, all Education Associates build and develop partnerships with schools and businesses, to ensure that students gain as much as possible from their projects, putting their learning into a real life context. They also play a key role in developing the organisation and its strategy, whether through leading new marketing activities, developing a method for assessing impact or designing innovative projects from scratch.
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Spreading the learning revolution through the UK

Each Associate is given the independence to lead the expansion of Enabling Enterprise in a region, and with it the opportunity to shape students’ learning in a given area. They build a partnership with a school from scratch and take the lead in each part of that journey. From an initial discussion with an open-minded teacher to supporting students from all year groups as they lead their own projects and visit top businesses.

A crucial part of the Educational Associate role is to build relationships with the teachers who deliver the projects, providing them with training and support throughout the year. That might mean teaching the first lesson or going in to judge students’ final presentations. It also involves facilitating trips to our supporting businesses, during which students take on a day of enterprise activities, working alongside volunteers from a whole range of companies, from top management consultancies and law firms to construction companies and advertising agencies.
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Variety is the Spice of Life

The Associate role is made for ambitious people who like variety. It offers an incredible amount of independence in expanding Enabling Enterprise into a region, so that each Associate is an entrepreneur themselves. They have their own network of schools, businesses and projects which they build up themselves. They are the one point of call for anything related to Enabling Enterprise for people in that region, which offers great responsibility and a chance to build close and trusted relationships. They get the chance to see the development of students over the course of the year as they become more equipped for the real world, tracking the impact of the projects. And without the pressure of achieving certain grades or impending OFSTED visits, they are also provided with the freedom and time to design new, creative projects which develop the whole young person; not just their ability to pass an exam.
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Personal Development

As well as running projects with schools, Eduaction Associates are also part of different development teams, responsible for a certain strand of the organisation. In this sense, they are able to shape their own role, honing it according to their skills and passions. As somebody interested in marketing, I have the creative freedom to build our marketing strategy, testing out new activities from planning an annual celebration event to sending out a termly regional newsletter.

In an organisation where individuals’ skills and passions are encouraged and developed, it is inspiring to work in a team of such bright, interested people. It is this mix of variety and continuity, creative freedom and well thought out strategy, which has attracted people from all career types to be part of our small team. Our team is made up of an eclectic mix of people, from Teach First alumni to investment bankers turned teachers, all drawn in by the exciting challenge of better preparing young people for the real world, one school at a time.

Enabling Enterprise is currently recruiting. For more information click here. The deadline for applications is 8th April 2013.

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About Enabling Enterprise: … Our Mission Enabling Enterprise is an award-winning not-for-profit social enterprise, set up...

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