Ben Gibbons, Course Director St Benet’s Hall, Oxford, Summer 2018

 

What was the best experience of your summer?

Many of the experiences I had working with Oxford Summer Courses have stayed with me, and some will stay with me forever. One memory however stands out, which happened on the last night of the first course I was directing. Soon after the bop ended, I was doing a round to make sure that everyone had begun going to bed. But I found all of the kids lying in the garden, looking at the stars. They were playing some music out of a tiny phone, and just singing along to it- kind of wistfully. Just a bunch of lads, singing together, because they felt like it. I remember that the music ended on a Macklemore song, the one which goes, ‘Someday soon, your whole life’s gonna change, You’ll miss the magic of these old days.’

That’s when it hit me, that what we’re doing here is something which will define our student’s teenage years. There were shooting stars above. It was pretty special.

What do you like about our company culture?

There’s a whole team of people in head office who are working incredibly hard to make sure you’re supported and can put on the best programme possible for the kids. The focus is always on making sure that the young people who sign up for the programme have as memorable and exciting a time as possible, and everyone works together to make that happen.

Why should someone apply to work with us?

Oxford Summer Courses offers an ideal environment to develop your skills and make some really good memories in the process. Every job requires qualities that you need to grow into and that will stay with you in later life, from pastoral care to organisation and the ability to quickly adjust plans and decide yourself on the best way to act when unexpected events happen. You’ll be supported in developing these skills, and as long as you’re willing to work hard, the summer will fly by.

Charlotte Sabin, Admissions Territory Manager

 

What has been the highlight of your time with Oxford Summer Courses?

There’s a lot of highlights to choose from! My favourite moment so far would probably be between working as a Course Director, going to the outdoor cinema at Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford on a chilly August evening, wrapping up in blankets and singing along to The Greatest Showman with the 13-15’s course at St. Stephen’s House or getting the opportunity to travel to San Francisco to experience our partnership programme at Stanford. All my highlights of working at Oxford Summer Courses are a result of a brilliant group of people in head office and on the courses working really hard to make sure we continue to offer programmes in the UK and abroad that we can be very proud of.

What do you like best about our company culture?

Our company culture is the reason why people who join the company stay. It holds everything together, from having a team to rely on during hectic summer months, to planning everything in the programme right through to the tiniest details with the support of those who have learned from years of experience, the culture creates an atmosphere of support and shared success. Everyone brings their own ideas, expertise and experience and is listened to. Outside of the day-to-day, we make sure there’s lots of time to enjoy achievements on an individual and company-wide scale in and out of the office with staff socials and away-days.

Why should someone apply to work for us?

If you’re looking for an opportunity to be creative, to be part of a fantastic team to have career development opportunities, this is the place.You don’t need to have an exact five-year plan, you just need to be engaged, excited and keen to get involved and to learn, and then there will be somewhere in this business where you’ll fit.

Chris Adamson, Oxford Programme Manager, Oxford Summer Courses

 

What has been the highlight of working for Oxford Summer Courses?

It’s hard to pick a single highlight, so I have a couple of answers to this. As a Course Director the final formal hall of each course was always a highlight. They had travelled from across the globe, some away from their family for the first time, some getting their first taste of an intensive academic environment, and all of them interacting with a more diverse range of people than they ever would have done before. To see them comfortable, confident, and celebrating their achievements together in a venerable college dining hall was always very special. As Programme Manager my highlight is seeing on course staff excel at leading our courses. We take great care in our recruitment of on course staff, in training and developing them, and seeing them go about their role and interacting with the students with charisma, empathy, and enthusiasm gave me great satisfaction. On a personal level, I recently made a trip to Chile and Peru to promote our courses to students there. Presenting our courses to audiences of around 400 prospective students and their parents in Santiago and Lima was an amazing experience, made all the more special by the enthusiasm I got in response from students who are so keen to come and be a part of it.

What do you like about our company culture?

There are a number of great things about the company culture at Oxford Summer Courses. On the work front, the company is full of team players and there is a great sense that we all achieve by working together to get the desired result. At the end of a successful summer of courses we knew we had all played our part in that success and it was recognised across the company. There isn’t a particularly strict sense of hierarchy and it is a place where you are encouraged to learn by doing. Together these features mean that everyone gets a chance to shape the courses and to play a meaningful part in making them work to the highest standard. Away from the actual work itself, I like that there is just a general air of positivity around the team. I was once told “nice people like working with nice people”, and it something that really comes across working here. Things like crazy golf, barbecues in the office garden, and trips to the theatre create a good social life amongst the team. There’s always a lot of laughs. It’s great to be a part of.

Why should someone apply to work for us?

The main reason I would encourage people to apply to work here is that Oxford Summer Courses is a company that is going places and is a great place to grow and develop in your career. I started in 2013 applying to be a Student Helper. Before long I was an Assistant Course Director. The next year I had the chance to run a course myself as Course Director, and I ended up doing five summers of it during my DPhil, and getting a chance along the way to help in the expansion to new colleges, to contribute to developing the courses, and to take part in some great training programmes. Last year I started full time as a Programme Manager in the head office, and as the company grows I am looking to grow with it. If you’re looking to develop professionally and to work in an encouraging environment with real opportunity for growth I would heartily recommend applying to work here. There are exciting times ahead!

Alison Fripp, Christ Church Course Director, Oxford, Summer 2018

 

What was the best experience of your summer with us?

I thoroughly enjoyed my summer working for Oxford Summer Courses in the capacity of Course Director at Christ Church. For me it was a chance to relive my much-beloved Oxford University days and to be able to share with the current summer students my memories of and passion for the University and the City.

Some of my highlights from the summer included the Friday night formal hall dinners, where the four course meals were exquisite! Listening to the amazing ideas which our students came up with during our own Dragon’s Den was great, as was getting to know a little bit about each and every student on the courses. Working with my team, and working together to find a solution to an array of problems was also a highlight, and who could forget our croquet and cream tea for students in the Master’s garden, right after they handed in their first essay!

What did you like about our company culture?

The best thing about the people at Oxford Summer Courses is their genuine concern about and for each other and you! No matter what, you felt the head office (Oxford) staff was there to support you, to listen to you, to guide and advise you.

Why should someone apply to work for us?

People should think about working for Oxford Summer Courses because you can feel the enjoyment people have for their job. People really like their jobs. Sure things get tough and no job is perfect but this company is growing and expanding and it’s exciting and rewarding and just plain fun. Everyone brings an unique and important talent to the pool of Oxford Summer Courses staff, and it’s not just fun to work with everyone, it’s wonderful to get to know everyone on a personal level. It’s also an incredible place to grow professionally and personally because the job involves problems you can anticipate and then plenty you can’t. It is so rewarding to figure out solutions to all the things that crop up. The added bonus is doing it with people who are equally dedicated to their jobs as you are.

Monika Jerszynska, Cambridge Programmes Manager

 

What has been the highlight of your time with Oxford Summer Courses?

Personally, seeing our Cambridge programme grow and change for the better was incredibly significant. Not only have we managed to double the number of students attending but also hugely improve the quality of our courses offered across many sites in Cambridge. This was possible only thanks to the immense hard work of our amazing Cambridge office staff members. Working with them is the biggest highlight and a privilege.

What do you like best about our company culture?

Flexibility and understanding of how important work-life balance is to our team members. Working from home and flexible hours – these are not alien concepts and personally I believe they boost efficiency and trust within the team. Oh and the state of art coffee machine.

Why should someone apply to work for us?

We genuinely care about well-being of our team and make sure every person can grow and develop their skills the way they always wanted. There’s an incredibly positive vibe across all locations and everyone is welcome to share their ideas and contribute. I find this environment incredibly creative, supportive and safe.

Matt Kruger, Assistant Course Director, London, Summer 2018

 

What was the best experience of your summer?

It is difficult to say. But, I think that the highlight of my summer in London were the students’ project presentations at the end of their course. Watching them develop, both intellectually and in confidence, over the two weeks – and, then seeing all their hard work come together before their peers and teachers, was a wonderful experience.

What do you like about our company culture?

Despite growing significantly in size over the past few years, Oxford Summer Courses has managed to maintain an open and dynamic culture, in which permanent and temporary staff alike are encouraged to take initiative and contribute in various ways to the planning and execution of the company’s goals.

Why should someone apply to work for us?

It is rare that a single company does important, innovative and interesting work. Not only does the company provide quality summer education programmes, its courses are designed and delivered in original and stimulating ways. Throughout my time with Oxford Summer Courses, I both enjoyed my work and took satisfaction in what I was doing.

Alex Whitton, Operations Officer

 

What has been the highlight of your time with Oxford Summer Courses?

My highlight has been working with a group of diverse people from so many different backgrounds and experiences. It has been a real joy getting to know everyone, seeing the team expand and come together, and learning something from everyone. It feels like a very large second family!

What do you like about our company culture?

Everyone cares. The team is so friendly and welcoming and everyone makes time for each other. Whether it is having a quick coffee break, sitting down for lunch together, catching up with teams in other offices, staff socials or falafel Friday they all contribute to making the company a fun and enjoyable place rather than somewhere you come to work before going home to your own life.

Why should someone apply to work for us?

Working for Oxford Summer Courses has been a fantastic opportunity to learn and grow. You are given opportunities to stretch yourself, work with some amazing people, and to celebrate the fantastic things people achieve together, whether it’s company achievements or personal successes. If that doesn’t persuade you a love of puns is another great reason!

Jen Paulley, Course Director, Wolfson College, Oxford Summer 2018

 

What was the highlight of your summer?

The highlight of my summer is really hard to pinpoint but I would have to say seeing the strength of the friendships created between a multicultural and multinational cohort of students. Students come from far and wide for individual reasons but every single one of them left saying the same thing… ”I’ve had the best summer of my life and I’ve made some amazing friends”. Many started their Oxford Summer Courses journey unsure of what to expect, hoping to advance academically and experience University life. Seeing the students leave with that and far more is a strong highlight of mine.

What did you like about our company culture?

The company culture is inclusive and supportive. HO are keen to promote a hard-working ethos, which filters through to on-course staff. Returning seasonal staff remain enthusiastic and focused and the company is continuing to expand year upon year.

Why should someone apply to work for us?

Working at Oxford Summer Courses will give you a comprehensive insight to working with young people from all over the world. You will be working with an energetic and vibrant team and each day is always different! You’ll be encouraged to express and use your strengths as well as receiving support for professional development. With competitive seasonal role pay rates, you will also have lots of fun!

Emily Bell, Academic Coordinator

 

What has been the highlight of working with Oxford Summer Courses?

I feel my opinions and ideas are valued- a highlight was being given the opportunity to develop our EFL programme and gain valuable experience which is shaping the direction of my ongoing career. It has been a big step up for me and it has given me a lot of confidence.

What do you like about our company culture?

That there is a place for everyone in our company culture. Everyone has their niche and finds an interest that they can share to make our company a great place to work, whether its organising our socials, running a book club or a football team, or starting a gardening club. Oxford Summer Courses does a lot to encourage and facilitate our agency in improving company culture, and is always looking for feedback to keep improving things for everyone.

Why should someone apply to work with us?

Because we have a strong ethos, and our company values influence everything we do. There is a lot of integrity here, people are valued and cared for, and given as much opportunity as possible to progress in the areas that interest and stimulate them the most.

Sign up to the Newsletter

Want to know more? Enter your details below to download our full guide and sign up for our email newsletter.