Meet Hannah Van Gelder
I’m Hannah and I am currently a Regional Manager with Explore. I joined the company in 2010 as an Assistant Director, having heard about it from Loughborough University careers fair, as I had a huge passion for working with children and their families. It was the only job that I had applied for so I really hoped I’d be successful. When I applied for the role I still had in my mind that I would train to become a teacher after a year or two but I’m still here six years later and can’t at the moment see me ever leaving the company!
One of the main reasons I loved my job as an Assistant Director was that, although I always spent a large majority of my time with families, I actually really enjoyed driving the centre towards hitting targets and ensuring that we were growing as a business. Initially I was nervous at the prospect of marketing Explore through face to face sales but learnt to realise that this was actually one of my strengths.
After about 15 months as an Assistant Director I was offered the opportunity to launch the Centre in Addiscombe as a Centre Director and absolutely loved this experience. I had an amazing team of both Assistant managers and tutors which led the launch to be a huge success. This really was one of the highlights of my Explore career, I then went on to launch the centre in Crawley which also had a strong launch and was brilliant to do although very different to Addiscombe as it was the first in the area so we spent a lot of time finding ways to ensure the local community knew who we were and what we did.
In January 2015 I joined the Regional Management team and currently work alongside an incredible bunch of individuals with varied personalities and skills which is one of the reasons that my current role is so great. I have learnt a lot from working at Explore in terms of developing my own skills but also that work should be fun. Every day is different and always has been which can sometimes mean that I’ve faced something challenging, exciting or hilarious! The region that I work in is brilliant and one of the things that motivates me most as an RM is seeing an inspiring tutor or manager in action. I feel proud to be part of what they’re doing and proud of them when they achieve great things for their centre.
The main piece of advice I’d give to anyone joining Explore is that you’ve got to have ‘gumption’ and ‘oomph’ because that’s what turns a great idea or plan into reality.