From a Kingswood residential student to a Kingswood Team Leader! A Q&A with Chantelle Storey
What skills are needed for your job?
Being a people person is really important. An outgoing and bubbly personality is important to help visitors feel welcome and comfortable. Being adaptable is also important as in this job, things can change at the last minute like weather and visitor numbers.
I’m excited to be moving forward with the training side of the role, as this is something I have a passion for. Training staff to be more confident is valuable as they need to be able to take the lead when they are working in large groups.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job?
The satisfaction of knowing that a group has had a great stay. During my eight years with Kingswood, there have been several moments that stayed with me when I’ve felt like I’ve made an actual difference. While a job in outdoor education is great fun, I think the really rewarding part is knowing that you’ve had a positive impact on the visitors’ experience.
What kind of prior experience is valuable to your job?
From past experience, I’ve noted that people from a sporty background or a volunteering background take to the job well and they seem to be the people that thrive the most when they are here. Working with colleagues from the older generation is a privilege as they bring with them a vast amount of experience and can open the eyes of people that they work with. Creative people are also great to have on-site as they can bring a different perspective to working here.
People who have worked in customer services bring many transferable skills. They think quickly on their feet. and have good communication skills which is important for working at Kingswood.
What is the most challenging thing about your role?
I see people struggling to learn when a one-size fits all approach is taken to training so that can be a challenging part of learning the skills needed for the job. I’m working on ways of training that can utilise ‘different tools in the box’ to better cater to individuals’ needs.
In terms of working with guests, if you have a group that’s quiet, they can be difficult to interact with. We train staff to handle interaction so that all groups get the most out of their experience at Kingswood.