Volunteer Spotlight

Schools Industry Partnership, Vanessa Perkins

Meet Jordan

Jordan is one of Inspiring the Future volunteer’s. We asked Jordan a few questions about her experiences volunteering with Inspiring the Future:


How long have you been an Inspiring the future volunteer?

I have been an ITF volunteer for about a year and half and in that time have attended some great events in that time.


What made you want to sign up to volunteer with Inspiring the Future?

I’d been looking for quite some time for ways to engage with students to provide them with information about some non-traditional career paths. I work in the Landscape Construction/Civil/Asset Maintenance industry and I find students often don’t know that there are long term career opportunities in these industries. It’s great to be able to talk to them about opportunities that are available. And of course, as a woman in the construction industry, I am always seeking opportunities to speak to young women about work they might not have considered, and it can be profitable work too.


What is it about volunteering with Inspiring the Future that you really enjoy?

I really enjoy seeing students get engaged with what you’re talking about and answering any and all questions. Sometimes it’s not even about jobs necessarily, it may be answering questions about interviewing or CVs. I do find that really rewarding.


Has your career journey taken the path you imagined it would?

Not a chance. When I left school I was 17 and I had no idea what I wanted to do, I just felt like I had to go to university for “something.” The degree I started (and didn’t finish) was in social work. I quickly decided that wasn’t for me. It then another year before I decided HR was what I wanted to do and another four before I started my first real HR job. The role of HR Manager was certainly not something I thought I’d end up doing all those years ago but it’s been a great journey.


What is something about your career journey that has surprised you?

The importance of making a good impression. I found out about a HR internship because of a referral from my store manager at my high-school job which then escalated quickly into my first “proper office” job. That never would have happened unless I’d worked hard at my casual job all those years.


What is one piece of advice that you would share with young people today?

You don’t need to know what you want to do straight after school. You have plenty of time. Don’t feel pressured to go to uni “just because”, it’s not cheap (trust me I know!)