Leading a team of 10-15 young people through the NCS program. Facilitating youth led leadership, teamwork, personal challenges. Delivering thought provoking sessions about relevant skills and issues. Inspiring young people to see own potential. Supporting pastoral needs and managing any challenging behaviour and issues that many arise.
I enjoyed my experience with NCS. This being my second year of being in the role of a Senior Mentor, leading a group of young people through the program and taking care of behavioural issues, supporting individuals both motivational for the challenges set and pastoral. The role is very challenging, especially for first time SM's, but a very rewarding experience to see the progress of the team, and to be able to facilitate the youth led leadership that developed through the program. Supporting individuals who may have arrived shy and have personal fears, such as public speaking, was also very rewarding, as they grow in confidence and participate in a public speaking pitch at the end of the program. I returned because whilst there are many challenging moments, it is a very rewarding and alternative summer job to working in retail.
I felt valued by the young people I was working with, as they often asked for my support and would cheer me on aswell during team tasks. At the end of the week, they included me in their presentation about their experiences on NCS. However, I feel SM's role is incredibly challenging, and core staff should reward and congratulate staff more on their work and team's progress.
I received lots of support from my Program Leader and Assistant Program Leader, who were both out on the residential, but felt the core staff at NCS should be onsite more to talk through progress with the staffing team that work directly on the residential. This would give an external support and guidance.
The challenging nature of the role provided me with the essential skills for an intense and highly demanding role in the future. For example. clear leadership, both directing the group and leading evening sessions focused on teamwork attributes, review sessions, ice breaker and energiser activities and department workshops, which focused on teaching the young people about roles within a team. I also learned more about the importance of social impact, and campaigns. This will be of interest for me as I look to progress in a career in Law.
The overall structure was well organised. We were given schedules of the 2 week residential in advance, as well as the social action weekend dates. However, I feel core staff should be more aware that due to the highly unpredictable nature of the program logistics, things changed which put us off schedule. More should be done to ensure the structure of the program works more efficiently, as we had various problems with our accommodation.
NCS has a positive attitude, and myself and the staff on the residential were motivated and able to motivate each other. I feel more assistance during night duties, so we could get rest, would help us ensure a happier atmosphere, as we were exhausted at points. I felt there were some core staff members who could have been more enthusiastic and supportive of the program and it's aims to inspire young people!
I had returners training this year, and felt it was insufficient for the role. Training is usually over 2 days and in depth, but not practical enough. Hearing from previous staffing members would help solve this issue, as they would be able to share their stories with the rest of the trainees. I felt more on the job training would also help, as there was points where extra support was needed.
I got a clear insight of what NCS wished to achieve, but also the other roles available if I wanted to return. I was very impressed by the program, and would look at registering my interest for other roles in the future! I think being on the residential itself gave the clearest outline of how the NCS program works, and felt some core staff would benefit from also doing this.
I understood the companies culture clearly! NCS inspires young people to work in a team and develop not only their personal attributes, but also their teamwork through social action and developing new skills. I was really impressed by this, and have seen the rewarding culture through the young people.
Being on the NCS program has altered me to the importance of leadership and how I can use this in my career in Law. Also, key skills of active listening during mentoring one-to-one's and facilitation of support to others. I was also keen to follow up my interest in social impact, which is important in many companies today.
I feel more should have been given to Senior Mentor's for reimbursement. As we were expected to pay for our own drinks, which were essential if we had been on night duty. I would recommend the core staff set some fun aside for this. Sadly we were not reimbursed for our travel expenses either, which I thought was frustrating for those who had to travel from further afield.
There was little networking opportunities, as previously stated, this was due to little engagement with core staff. I was lucky enough to work alongside some great Senior Mentors, who had great potential in their roles! I would recommend, NCS look to engage core staff with the residential staffing team, as there were many who would be great in higher positions.
There were some events organised during second week, such as the dragons den pitch, which had great potential for the networking of the young people with local business people. However, the 'dragons' chosen were not the most inspirational, and not encouraged to speak to the young people! Furthermore we were visited by a 'professional partner' to speak to the young people. These talks were more helpful.
No sadly not. The young people were offered many opportunities in the completion of the program, which was fantastic! I understand there are sales roles for staff members, but nothing was said about this. I felt most of the staff didn't know whether they would do the role again, but had enjoyed the role even with its challenges! I think this was due to the supportive nature of the residential staff.
Definitely! NCS is a great way to challenge yourself (as a young person), but even more for the staff leaders who run it! You see great rewards in the young people, and learn a lot for yourself along the way. I am now more aware of social impact and the importance of campaigning on causes which are relevant to today's society. Just be prepared for a roller coaster of challenges, but great fun and rewards too!