Jack Cranston | Teach First

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Jack Cranston

  • Studied: War Studies, King's College London

I became a Brand Manager mainly because I'd heard a lot about Teach First already and I thought their vision that no child's socioeconomic background should affect their success in life was really important.  I think it's a no-brainer that we should all want to help other people and raise aspirations. 

A Brand Manager’s role is to raise awareness at your university of Teach First's vision and to help the recruitment team find new participants for the Leadership Development Programme (LDP).  To do this you need to be in places where students usually are, whether that's your local – your student pubs – classrooms, or the outside areas of campus, having important conversations about educational inequality. 

A lot of people don't realise that Teach First is more than just a recruiter; they don't understand the charity side of the organisation and the vision that is focused on raising aspirations in schools that serve low-income communities.  Some of the most rewarding conversations are when you can convince people that actually it's not quite what they think. 

One of the most enjoyable things about being a Brand Manager is running events on campus. I organised an event with our liberal arts society. This involved me getting speakers from Teach First and other educational charities and chairing a debate on educational inequality.  I’ve also done lecture shout-outs in large lecture theatres full of people.   

I think the main benefits of being a Brand Manager are, well, first of all it's very flexible; you’re paid to work around your studies. The time commitment isn't really something to worry about at all. It's a minimum of four hours a week. I did lots of work straight after lectures or just before lectures and it was very easy for me to clock those hours. 

I also saw that a lot of the skills I was developing could be directly transferred to a classroom setting. When I first started off as a Brand Manager I knew about the LDP but I wasn't sure it was what I was going to pursue.  I had the chance to meet lots of people from Teach First through my role as a Brand Manager. I then learned more about the programme itself and felt that it would be the right thing for me to do.   

As a Brand Manager you also develop really key skills which could be transferred not only to the LDP but almost any area you might choose to go into after university.  These include communication, leadership and presentation skills, all of which any employer will value.