My First Month at LIFT OFF: A Tale


Hello, Bonjour, Hallo! My name is Nicola and I am the newest member of the Lift Off team. Ever wondered what it is like to start working at LIFT OFF? Sit down, grab a cuppa and find out what I have been doing for the first month of my new role!

It is always daunting starting something new, whether it is moving into a new year at school, going to University or starting a new job. I must admit, I am not a big fan of change and I was a bit apprehensive about starting my new role. I had been working at the University of St Andrews for 2 years and before that and I was also a student there, so something "not St Andrews" was quite nerve wracking for me as it was something very much outside my comfort zone.

But on the other hand, I was also really excited! I knew about LIFT OFF through my previous job and I really admired the work they did helping young people with their journey into Higher Education. I knew it was going to be an exciting new chapter to "the Life of Nicola". So, on the 9 July, I headed out the door and made my way to sunny Glenrothes. Think Hercules in 'I Can Go the Distance'. If you're not a Disney fan (like Dylan), I would suggest a google for context.

One month later and it feels like I have been part of the team for years! Still learning the ropes but everyone has been so nice and welcoming and I feel completely at ease. Looking back, I don't know what I was worried about!

But what have I been up to?

My first challenge was LO2S. It just so happened that I started a week before LO2S week 2! Talk about throwing me in at the deep end... I won't give you a day by day account of the summer school as Jud has already done it for me! Thanks Jud. You can find it here if you're interested:

Despite being thrown in at the deep end, I am really glad that LO2S was my Lift Off initiation. I got to learn so much about the programme; what LIFT OFF is all about, what different Universities are like and what different subjects are offered. Most importantly l got to integrate into the team. You really get to know people on a five day residential!

Because I was newbie, I made sure I asked lots of questions and tried to get involved in as much as possible in the different activities (this also involved me busting out some of my moves at the disco).

I used to be quite shy about new situations, but I soon realised after I left school, even if it might be a bit daunting and scary, that to get the best experiences you have to ask those niggling questions and get involved! It is usually not that scary once you gain the bigger picture (Nicola's Life Top Tip No 1).

However, most of all, I enjoyed getting to know the lovely Lift Off pupils! And it was great to hear your journeys, find out what your hope your future plans will be and just have a good gossip about this year's members of Love Island.

From LO2S, I have been busy helping the team prepare for the new year and I have been out in schools promoting LIFT OFF Learning Skills (LOLS) to the S5s and the programme to the S4s. It has been great to be out and about meeting the current core pupils and some potential new ones!

Looking at the calendar, I am pretty busy over the coming months with lots of schools visits, S6 workshops and individual meetings and I can't wait! Make sure you check the calendar to see when I am coming to a school near you.

Nicola over and out.

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