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Navigating a Successful Career Path at United Learning: A Conversation with Melissa

Melissa’s United Learning journey began unexpectedly in 2009 when she translated for a friend who was applying for a cleaning job at Surbiton High School.

“I ended up leaving with a cleaning job myself without even looking for one! I was a stay-at-home mum at the time, looking after my little boy, so I could only do part-time. So, that is how my journey started," she says.  

Over the years Melissa has taken on several roles, including Playground and Lunchtime Supervisor, Teaching Assistant, and Admin Assistant. However, she found her true passion in HR and became a HR and Recruitment Coordinator in 2018. 

During her time at United Learning, Melissa has had many CPD opportunities. One of those was completing her CIPD training with the support of her colleagues. She said: "Being part of the United Learning Group and the HR group with all the webinars and training all online means I can attend them all and learn so much," Additionally, Surbiton High offers CPD sessions for staff that run after school, giving everyone the chance to develop their skills and knowledge. 

Although Melissa loves everything about her role, her favourite part is recruitment. She said: "I love interacting with people. Meeting candidates on the day, making sure they feel welcome and at ease so that they feel they can perform the best of their ability on that day". She also enjoys seeing the progression of candidates after they are appointed, knowing she played a part in their journey. 

Melissa's stand-out moment at United Learning was finishing her CIPD qualification. Reflecting on the achievement, she said:  "Having finished school over 20 years ago, I found it hard at the beginning to structure essays, etc. So, by the end of the course, it felt like an amazing achievement."  Another stand-out moment for Melissa was completing the Surbiton ‘Grade 1-athon', in which pupils teach staff an instrument complete with lessons and homework, culminating in an exam. Melissa said: “It was really difficult as I have never played an instrument and I didn’t know how to read music. I learnt so much and passed grade one piano, which I was so proud of!” 

Melissa's journey, from a cleaning job to a HR and Recruitment Coordinator, is a testament to the many pathways for growth and development within the UL Group, and a great example of the many opportunities available to those who join the United Learning family.  Melissa's completion of her CIPD qualification is an inspiring reminder that with hard work and support, it is never too late to achieve your goals, you never know, you may even end up able to play a tune or two on an instrument!  

Thank you to Melissa for speaking to us about her experience. If you are interested in a career with us, you can find our current vacancies here:  Current vacancies 

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