A day in the life of Jade Rabezzana-Drake MSc MCIPS: Apprenticeship Manager and Course Tutor

When my alarm clock beeps, I’m never tempted to hit the snooze button – whatever day it is, I know there’s going to be something good happening. I like variety and find that it keeps me on my toes, so I feel fortunate to have a position that offers me the chance to mix longer days with easier ones, whether I’m teaching in class or working from home. No two weeks are the same and the flexibility suits me. Some days are challenging, others are more relaxed giving me time for my other role. I’m a mum too, with a five-month-old and time spent with him is precious.

Yesterday I worked from home, close to those I love, but still doing work that’s helping others to progress in their chosen careers. Today, however, will be one of the longer days. I look in on Jasper when I wake. It’s 4.30 am and he’s sleeping peacefully. I tiptoe out of the room and gather my bits and bobs, and as I leave the house, I’m already beginning to feel the excitement. I’m delivering a training day in London and working with our course delegates always leaves me feeling energised and inspired.

My train’s on time, but it’s busy. There’s no room to work on my laptop, but it’s not an issue. I’m well prepared for the day. I’ve been through the resources several times. I’ve tweaked presentations and have some new fun activities to stimulate learning. I’m looking forward to catching up with this group of learners. They’ll be waiting for feedback on their last assignments, bursting with questions that hopefully, I’ll be able to answer. I use my time going through my inbox, making notes for later in the week, catching up with a few articles that I’ve been meaning to read.

I’m at the venue just after eight, and my first task, as always, is to prep the stage. Teaching is three-quarters preparation and one-quarter performance. The prep’s done. Now I can’t let the performance suffer if the projector doesn’t work or if there’s no paper on the flipchart. I check the technology, set out my resources and wait for the first eager learners to arrive.

This is a CIPS group, studying at level 5. They’ve already shown impressive levels of commitment. They’re bonding as a group and learning from each other as well as from me. Our conversations explore their workplace challenges. They proffer solutions. The mood can range from intense concentration to hilarity. Sometimes I ask them to work on something in break-out groups and I’ll wander around the room picking up on the ideas being generated, gleaning insights from students on the course.

The hour after lunch can be tricky as energy levels drop, but I’ve got an activity that works well. I ask the delegates to form pairs and sit back to back. One describes something and the other must draw, unseen – the item being described. We learn three things. 1:  Listening is a skill. 2:  What you say may be interpreted in any number of ways by the listener. And 3: None of us has the talent to switch from procurement to a career as an artist.

I mix things up so that those who thrive in a collaborative environment get as much from the session as those who favour more formal or visual methods of learning. We use PowerPoints and videos. We study sections of text from manuals and explore the lessons within. We share experiences. There’s a bit of banter – I’m a Northerner in London – but it’s all good-natured.

I always enjoy the latter part of the afternoon. Any apprehension that delegates may have had early in the day is forgotten. The atmosphere is upbeat and positive with healthy debate. I see those who started out shy, now confidently presenting to their peers. I see students helping to motivate others in the group, talking about the way they fit study time around their other responsibilities. It reminds me of my days as a student, juggling lots of priorities, facing assessments and sometimes wondering whether I could cope.  Having been on the other side of the fence, I know how important it is to feel that you’re supported, and I do whatever I can to help delegates learn, grow and thrive. There’s a small glow of satisfaction when I’m thanked at the end of the day.

I walk back to Victoria, get the tube to Euston and make it onto the northbound train. Tonight, there’s a quiet corner. I grab a coffee, make a call to check on things at home, and then start work. I’m SRSCC’s Apprenticeship Manager and have a stack of reports from our team of mentors about our learners. These people aren’t numbers, they’re individuals – often older people returning to study after years in their career. Some of our learners are right on track. One is relishing the opportunity and blossoming as an individual. Another is clearly struggling to find the seven or eight hours in the week needed for her study. One young man has asked for a pause in his studies because of a family crisis. I make some notes, and tomorrow, I’ll follow everything up.

My car is one of only a few still in the station car park. I drive home reflecting on the day, on the things I’ve achieved and the seeds of growth I might have planted. But as I drive, my focus shifts back to the family. I can’t wait to see my son, and to my delight, he’s still awake. I sort his bath while my partner finishes preparing supper. After we’ve eaten, we talk about the upcoming weekend and our plans to explore another section of the Leeds–Liverpool canal. The forecast looks fine and I’m looking forward to the three of us getting outdoors together.

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A day in the life of Jade Rabezzana-Drake MSc MCIPS: Apprenticeship Manager and Course Tutor
2019-07-11T09:50:35+00:00
Joanna
Staff Member

Jen Shepherd

Admin and Customer Service Manager

Jenn completed her Apprenticeship in Business and Administration in 2008 and has since built upon a foundation of knowledge and skills in the administration and customer support areas.

Jenn has a degree, as well as a master’s degree, in English which have helped support her commitment to compliance and attention to detail.

Since returning to work from maternity leave in 2020, Jenn has worked in education settings and has an in-depth knowledge on Safeguarding and Child Protection, which she believes is a key part of all employees’ role when working with learners.

Outside of work, Jenn lives with her husband and two young daughters. She had her first book published in 2022 and advocates for the mental wellbeing of new parents.

michelle whalley

Michelle Whalley

Course Progress Mentor

Michelle graduated from Liverpool John Moore’s University in 2003 with a BA(HONs) in Physical Education, Sport, Dance and English, with Qualified Teacher Status. Michelle now holds 20 years’ experience of working in education. Her experience to date is hugely diverse, with a love for learning and striving for excellence across all areas of her life developed from when she was a young girl, representing her country at Athletics. It was from this platform Michelle developed a disciplined approach to every tasks set of her. During her time in teaching, she has taught a wide range of subjects, been a pastoral leader, and led ITT programmes.

Michelle prides herself on her ability to get the best possible outcomes out of people. This has been proven not only in the time she’s spent in education, but also in the set up and running of her own business.

Working in a fast-paced environment, especially becoming a Head of Year as well as teaching has consistently challenged her and ensured she’s flexible and adaptable

Lucy Eckersley

Lucy Eckersley

Administration Assistant

After recently graduating university and achieving a first-class degree in Drama, Lucy wanted to apply her production management experience to an administration role in business. Having worked part time jobs as a waitress and office receptionist during her education, Lucy has good customer service skills and enjoys helping customers and clients by addressing their queries. Lucy is excited to be working at SRSCC and is keen to use her process driven way of working to increase the effectiveness of SRSCC’s administrative processes. In her free time, Lucy enjoys watching musicals and running. She also enjoys spending time outdoors, and loves going hiking from her caravan in the Yorkshire Dales.
Tom Himsworth

Tom Himsworth

Administrative Assistant

Tom graduated from Edgehill University in 2015 with a degree in Creative Writing. After Tom’s journey through university, he worked extensively within the Healthcare sector in mostly administrative roles. It was here that he found his natural organized and observant manner was best suited as it allowed him to understand how each work environment operated, and where processes, customer service and communication could be improved for the benefit of everyone. Throughout his working life, Tom has gained experience with varying mental health conditions and is passionate about advocating the importance of mental health support and well-being. He is currently looking into various volunteer schemes to help champion mental health awareness. Along with this, Tom is an avid writer and is usually working on a story or two and is passionate about learning more about all forms of creative media.
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Estelle Marsden

Customer Support Coordinator

Estelle has completed apprenticeships in both Business Administration and Customer service. Her first Role after leaving school was a receptionist at a Podiatrist and that is where she found her passion for helping people and providing positive customer experiences. After 4 years she then moved into retail where her skills progressed further. Estelle has several years’ experience in a customer facing environment, which has led her to the role of Customer Support Coordinator here at SRSCC. Estelle is hoping to expand her expertise further and progress with SRSCC. Other than her passion for Customer Service. Estelle enjoys walking, Hiking, and exploring in her free time. She also enjoys going to the theatre and watching true crime. Estelle likes to spend most of her time with family and friends.
emmaj

Emma Jackson

Course Progress Mentor

Emma joined SRSCC in 2019 on a freelance basis taking on a teaching and learning consultancy role. She has 20 years of experience in education as a qualified teacher, working in adult learning, secondary and primary school settings in the UK as well as abroad, namely Japan, Hungary, and France. 

More recently Emma has been teaching yoga, resilience, and mindfulness in primary schools to promote the physical and mental well-being of both pupils and staff.

Being multi-lingual and having a zeal for communication, cultural exchange and life-long learning Emma jumped at the opportunity to join the company as a Course Mentor. Building a good rapport with her learners, supporting them to overcome any challenges on their apprentice journey and facilitating them to fulfil their potential is her motivation.

Cumbrian born and bred in the Lake District, Emma enjoys the outdoors. When not relaxing in tree pose, she is most at home trail running in the hills with her husband and dog. Having clocked up 4 marathons to date, the application of her long-distance running mindset of perseverance, determination, discipline and patience is key to supporting her learners in their studies.

SRSCC Staff Images Ashlee Scribbins

Ashlee Scribbins

Office Administrator

Ashlee has joined the SRSCC team as an Office Administrator, and with a level 2 and 3 in Business Administration, she fits right in!

Ashlee has a wide range of experience from working as a Legal Secretary for the Royal Air Force to managing a team. Ashlee is eager to use her customer service and business administration skills for her new role at SRSCC.

SRSCC Staff Images Declan Hemingway

Declan Hemingway

Business Development Account Manager

 

Declan recently graduated University studying BSc Business and Management with Marketing achieving a 2:1 and was looking for a role in Business Development to put his knowledge and education to the test.

He has a strong desire to grow the SRSCC brand and customer base. Working alongside our Business Development and Relationship Manager; he looks to strengthen both our Commercial and Apprenticeship learner portfolio by liaising with potential and existing learners through building customer relationships and understanding their requirements.