Eleanor's Story

Woman in library posed by model

Eleanor, 24, from Middleton is optimistic about the future after a great work experience at The University of Manchester.

Eleanor has struggled with anxiety for many years, affecting her confidence and ability to work following the completion of a degree in English Literature. Eleanor’s Talent Coach, Sam Powers from Groundwork, organised a 1:1 Coffee and a Catch Up meeting for Eleanor with Louise Timperley from Greater Manchester Chambers of Commerce. Louise was impressed by Eleanor following their meeting and set her a short communications project for the Chambers of Commerce newsletter which she was very pleased with. Following this, Eleanor had the confidence to look at a more committed opportunity.

Sam worked with Martin O'Dwyer from The University of Manchester to arrange two weeks work experience in The Learning Development Team based at The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons.

During her work experience, Eleanor learnt a lot of practical skills, in particular around statistics, data analysis and the use of Excel - something that she was keen to be able to include in her CV. During the experience, she developed her ability to work independently and complete difficult tasks with minimum supervision. She also reported that she felt more confident in her ability to pick up technical skills and retain instructions.

Eleanor is really positive about the experience, “I found that my anxiety decreased as I became more familiar with the environment and staff. This allowed me to feel more optimistic that my anxiety is not as large a barrier to employment as I had felt and that I do have some coping mechanisms that I can develop further.”

“My experience at the Learning Commons has led me to consider looking into a career in social research, evaluating and informing the development of policies and services. In order to do this I would need to gain more experience in research methodologies and statistics. Most importantly though, I have gained more confidence in myself and feel more optimistic about the future. I am grateful to everyone in the learning development team for their support and I will miss working with them.”

Martin O'Dwyer, IT Support Coordinator at The University of Manchester Library & Alan Gilbert Learning Commons said, “Eleanor came into the Learning Development team to help out during a busy time of the year for the Library's open training program - My Learning Essentials. The help she gave to the team in writing reports and analysing data from training sessions and workshops was fantastic. This is a really important aspect of running the training program so I know the team are incredibly appreciative for all her hard work. 

I'm really glad Eleanor enjoyed her time here and that we were able to help with her development.  Everyone at the Learning Commons would like to say thank you and we wish her all the very best for the future.  Who knows, we may work with her again sometime soon!”

Talent Coach Sam Powers said, “Eleanor has come on in leaps and bounds since she started on the Talent Match programme, she has shown massive development and a willingness to try new experiences to help combat her anxieties. She is a fantastic example of how, with a little support and a lot of determination, young people can achieve fantastic results and aspire to great accomplishments”.

As part of her Greater Manchester Talent Match journey, Eleanor also took part in a World of Work visit to E.ON in March and was one of 100 young people and Talent Coaches given the opportunity to meet with employers at a careers inspiration event held at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) and hosted by Greater Manchester Talent Match.

If you are aged between 18 and 24 and are interested in finding out how Greater Manchester Talent Match can help you into employment, visit our Get Support page. 

Read more stories from people involved in Greater Manchester Talent Match by clicking here.