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How to get a job in a major children’s charity, By Laura Howley

Tell us a little bit about the organisation you represent

I work for the Corporate Partnerships department of Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity (GOSH), which is a bit of a mouthful! I am team assistant to 25 people who create charity partnerships with organisations such as M&S, HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Butlins and then steering those organisations in their fundraising efforts. By far our most successful partnership has been with Premier Inn, who have raised over £7million for the charity and the hospital.


Tell us about a typical week in the life of your job (if such a thing exists)

A typical week doesn’t really exist! On a daily basis you can find me at my desk rearranging calendars and attempting to create more hours in a day, you could find me at the hospital assisting with tours for our Corporate Partners, you could find me on reception which really gives an insight into the day to day running of the charity, you could find me chairing meetings for various departments, or indeed sifting through crib notes on Peter Pan to answer the weird and wonderful questions we receive from around the world on JM Barrie, Peter Pan, and the copyright legacy Barrie left to the hospital.


Tell us about your career path

Not knowing what I wanted to do when I finished school, and being too young to really have fun, I decided on a secretarial course in my home town to learn basic computer skills, book keeping, communication skills, customer service skills etc, and this has seen me through my career in administration. I’ve worked in a variety of places, from an asylum seekers hostel, to a recruitment agency, running a property office in Berlin with limited German, for the catholic church and then Great Ormond Street! Not exactly the clearest path, but having worked in so many areas, and having been active in the charity and admin sector for so long has really paid off. Experience goes a long way! Luck also helps, the right place at the right time.


What’s the best thing about your job?

With GOSH being such a recognisable charity, the best thing about my job is the pride I feel when I tell people where I work. It’s a great feeling to be part of something that literally saves lives, and it’s important to remember that when you are knee deep in credit card reconciliations!


What advice would you offer to someone interested in working in the charity sector?

Be open with your recruitment consultant about what you want to do, it worked for me! When Jack from I Am Recruiting phoned me regarding a database opportunity, I politely (I hope) declined and outlined the other roles I was interested in. Jack took this on board and put me in touch with Julian, and the rest is history!


Anything else you’d like to say?

I cannot thank I Am enough for their help in not only securing me an interview here, but also with Jack and Julian’s help through the application process and making the most out of my CV. I have recommended them as an agency to other people, and if and when I decide to move on from GOSH, they will be my first port of call.


What is I Am all about?

What do we do? We love connecting people in charities, social enterprises and not-for-profits to learn, share knowledge, make meaningful connections and find jobs!  We organise regular social networking and learning events and help people find jobs through our recruitment services.

Looking for work? Check out our vacancies here.

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