Written by Global Ambassador, Bongi Kellner, Hult Undergraduate student, London Campus.
Starting undergraduate school, I didn’t have many of the fears a lot of people tend to have. I had been in a boarding school almost 2,000 kilometers away from my parents, so I wasn’t afraid of being away from home. However, I did think about the fact that I was getting closer to independence. Getting a job, paying taxes, finding an apartment, all the bitter reality of being an adult.
In my second year at Hult, I decided that maybe instead of being scared of independence I could use this as an opportunity to get an idea of what the ‘adult world’ is like. I decided to do two things, find an apartment in London with two of my friends and get a part-time job. The finding an apartment part was quite easy, and since I live quite literally 30 seconds away from campus, it wasn’t as exciting. So let’s focus more on the job. I had heard from a student here that Hult had a position open for European students where you could apply to be a ‘faculty fellow’, so I decided I would apply for it.
The first thing I did was polish up my CV and send it to Hult, letting them know I was interested in being a faculty fellow. Before I continue with my story it’s important to know that I’ve lived in developing countries all my life, and I’ve spent most of my life in international schools. Since I lived in developing countries but went to good schools, I had an extremely privileged upbringing compared to many of the people in those countries. Which also meant that before I came to Hult, I had never worked a day in my life (that’s the most important part you need to know). So the mere fact that I sent in my CV already felt like an accomplishment. You can only imagine how happy I was when I found out that I got the job. I know it’s not THAT big of a deal, but it’s my first ‘proper’ job, so please don’t think you’re exaggerating when you picture me with a big smile on my face and calling my parents to tell them the news. I’ve been working there for almost a year now and finally have some experience to put on my CV!
The beauty of being a faculty fellow is that you almost get the best of both worlds. You know how everything works in the faculty system, but you also know how everything works in the student body. A lot of people think being a faculty fellow just means printing and photocopying. It involves a lot of that, sometimes a bit too much, but there’s so much more to it. There’s an immense range of things you may be asked to do. I’ve been given tasks from looking through every single book in the library to exploring London to get a trophy engraved for the “Hult Business Challenge”. So yes, sometimes things can be quite repetitive, but at the same time, you never know what you may be asked to do. Essentially, you become a personal assistant to all the faculty members. Some may need you to copy 50+ pages whilst others may need you to be their teaching assistant in a class activity.
We all know nothing is perfect. Of course, there are days where you get a task that you really don’t want to do (like the one about the library books), but that gives you a taste of what it’s like in the real world. It also helps that I sit on the third floor with most of the Professors, Finance department, Registry and the Deanery. This helps because as students, we don’t think of our professors as ‘normal’ people. To us their lives revolve around the school—they eat, sleep and drink it (it’s not true). Like everyone else, they too get tasks that they really don’t want to do, but they push through it and get it done.
I guess another reason being a faculty fellow is nice is because you’re working in an environment you’re already comfortable in. You’re not really nervous about going to a new place and meeting new people because you know the place and for the most part, you know the people. You might think that makes it less exciting, I guess it does take away a little bit of excitement. However, it does make things a lot more interesting since you’re seeing everyone in a different light, on a ‘professional’ level, and they get to see a different side of you too. Honestly, what’s better than working and studying in the same place? If I have a class and work on the same day, the maximum distance I may have to travel to get from one to the other is 3 flights of stairs, and there’s even an elevator!
Despite the fact that it’s in a trusted environment and you know the people quite well, it still teaches you things like any other part-time job. Since I work 8 hours a week, I do still have to find a balance between work, school and my social life (if a social life is even present at that specific moment in time). There is a slight bonus to it since the other faculty fellows are students too and you know them. If you’re ever really busy, you could ask one of them to cover your shift. For example, during exams, you’re drowning in study notes and work responsibilities, you can catch your breath every now and then.
Like any other job being a faculty fellow has its advantages and disadvantages, but I’d definitely say the good outweighs the bad.
If you’d like to know more about student life at Hult, get in touch with a student ambassador on this page.
Bongi Kellner is a German-Tanzanian student majoring in Marketing at the Hult London campus. She’s an active member of the Hult Social Impact Club and African Society. Her dream is to start a successful business in a developing country and run projects that help the needy.