As part of our 'Faces behind the frog' blog post series, we talk to Rob about his background in Higher Education and his favourite things about travelling as a Unifrog International Area Manager.
What does a day in the life of an International Area Manager look like?
As International Area Manager for Europe, my day is usually one of two very different scenes. I spend about 7-10 days of every month visiting a different European country, or sometimes two! During these trips, I get to visit our fantastic partner schools and help them integrate Unifrog into their curricula, train staff how to use the platform and most excitingly introduce it to students. I also get to visit schools that we don't yet work with to demonstrate the ways in which Unifrog could help them deliver better careers and higher education guidance for their students. When I'm back at Unifrog HQ here in London, I do all of the above remotely via video chat, recharge and put the finishing touches on the plan for the next trip.
How has your previous experience in Higher Education helped you in this role?
Five years of working in careers and employability services across three different London universities was a great foundation for understanding the environment I now find myself in. In particular, my role at The London School of Economics gave me the opportunity to work very closely with graduate employers from a variety of sectors. This means that I've been involved with helping to shape the future of young people - in one form or another - for a long time now. On a more day to day level, when you've run countless presentations, seminars, and workshops for 18-21 year olds, standing up in front of students a couple of years younger to do something similar doesn't faze you quite as much as it could!
What’s the best thing about travelling as part of your job?
Forgive me for the obvious answer, but as a massive foodie I can't look beyond that. So far in 2020 I've been lucky enough to enjoy ravioli in Rome, gyros in Greece, pastéis de nata in Portugal, and bacalao in Barcelona - do I get extra points for alliteration? - and that's just off the top of my head. As a big football fan, I've also tried to take in a game as often as possible too. I've got to games at the San Siro, Estádio José Alvalade and El Madrigal so far this season. Bonus points for anyone who can name the teams that play in those venues without resorting to Google!
What was the first album you bought?
Being the youngest of four children, I was lucky enough to get some excellent hand-me-down cassettes - yes I was born in the 80s! - from a very young age. I vividly remember dancing around my room to The Prodigy when I was way too young to process the lyrics... I can't remember the first album I bought, but the very first piece of music was a single - Cotton Eye Joe, by Rednex. Thankfully, it didn't lead to me buying whatever god-forsaken album that song featured on. For some extra narrative detail, I also remember that during the trip to Our Price in Torquay to pick up that particular banger, my sister purchased the far more respectable Gangsta's Paradise by Coolio. For shame.