“Having had the opportunity to change people’s lives and circumstances, it is incredibly rewarding.”

Like many students, Otega didn’t have a specific career path in mind when graduating in 2016. An American Football player at heart, with a Biological Science degree from Brighton University, he didn’t have a clear-cut route to follow.

It was during a trip to Kenya working for a charity and teaching local people vital business skills, that Otega had the eureka moment to turn his talents to teaching. Through the support of his university careers office, Otega decided to apply for the Teach First Training Programme, and following a successful assessment centre, was placed at a school in the West Midlands.

Otega playing for the University of Brighton's American Football team

Back in his Brighton university days, Otega joined the American Football team to meet new people, where he also enjoyed a huge amount of sporting success. Otega and his team went on to win the BUCS South Coast Conference Championship following an unbeaten season. Since playing BUCS sport and taking up a role in the classroom, Otega has gone onto work at Accenture where he is currently undertaking a two-year Masters Apprenticeship programme, specifically designed for career changes.

Otega reflected on his university sport experience by saying; “experiencing being in a team sport definitely had an impact on my development.” Sport gave him the ability to know how to “work well in a team”, “take criticism” and “depend on other people as well as those same people depending on you.” The skills he acquired through university sport are all transferable into the classroom, which meant Otega could hit the ground running as a teacher.

Speaking about his time as a teacher in two different schools, he shared what he took away from the experience; “building relationships with young people and motivating them to think out of the box is the part I treasure the most.” After a rewarding journey in teaching, he has now left the sector but he wants to continue to have a long-lasting impact on young people by going into schools to spread the message that you can “do anything you want with your life, you just have to dream big.”

Otega speaks so passionately about Teach First, highlighting that; “being associated with the Teach First brand really opens new doors for you as it’s such a well-respected programme”, and can testify that from his own experience, noting the impressive support given to every teacher; “they are really invested in your personal growth.” 

Following his time in the classroom, Otega knows that if he didn’t enrol onto the Teach First Training Programme, he wouldn’t have built the successful career he has today, stating that; “it really sets you up for life”.

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