What is it like to be a financial educator? You are expected to be an expert in all things money related and constantly create new methods of making a dull subject, fun. One of the ways we help bring lessons to life is by using young trainers who have recently gone through the same experiences as students – here are the thoughts of one of those educators.
By Tope Chiedozie
They say experience is the greatest teacher and for me, nowhere is this truer than when I’m delivering the ‘UNI DOSH’ workshop.
A third of students admit to being financially unprepared for university living and one in six first year students spend their loan in the first month. This why I feel so passionate about Uni Dosh, a dedicated financial education service for Sixth Formers and those thinking about going to university.
At my first ever delivery I was a nervous wreck, equipped with sweaty palms and armpits, I ran through the introduction quicker than Usain on his best day and made my way to my first slide thankfully without any questions at all.
However, then from out of the blue lagoon of query came a question that beckoned to be answered:
“What was university like for you?”
Uni flashbacks skirted around my mind and out came a barrage of financial mishaps, experiences and knowledge that I had amassed through those three years that I had been storing in my parental vault for my future kids.
Suddenly I found myself in my element, a place where I was able to match life experiences and practical financial information. As I clicked from slide to slide I grew in confidence as was able to draw upon real-life examples that I knew they had or would encounter in the near future. In the space of two hours I had transformed from a nervous newbie to a confident education officer.
I HAD BEEN REBORN!
Many students were also able to open up with their fears regarding university and settling in which I could totally relate with , and was able to sympathise and encourage them to look at the flip-side of the coin and see it as a challenge to meet new people and step out of their comfort zones.
Sharing these stories and being just a few years older than them made talking about student finance, tenancies, bank accounts and all the other scary choices, not so scary.
After the session the feedback was so encouraging and supportive, not only from the students and but also my observing trainers, that it left me feeling like I was truly at MyBnk for a reason, that those three years in higher education could be used to benefit not just myself but others too.