Andrew Cockburn

Andrew Cockburn

Work History

Work History
Sep 2007 - Present

Assistant Language Instructor

Interac

My job at present is a little different from normal ‘ALT’s’ in that I actually teach. My school has extra English lessons for its students, and these classes have been given to me.

My initial problem here was that the previous ‘ALT’s’ had not been very good or organised. After going through old teaching material I decided that it was not suitable. Using what I had learned about education, learning and understanding at university and drawing upon my own life experience, I set about designing a new curriculum to counter what I felt were the shortcomings in English education in Japan. This heavily involved the use of computers. I have since been asked to lecture, teach and provide assistance to various people in the local board of education and connecting schools. Through this job I have learned a great deal about the Japanese work ethic, living and working in Japan and communication across culture.

Key skills learned and experience gained:

Identifying problem areas in a job

Planning and execution of plans to combat these problems

Responsibility

Working in sometimes difficult and stressful conditions across cultures

Adaption to working in a foreign climate

Responsibility

Presentation skills

Computer skills

Teamwork

Working to deadlines

Confidence in dealing with people in a second language

Intimate understanding of Japanese culture and working style

May 2007 - Aug 2007

Support case worker

Pertemps/Scottish Executive

This was a similar job to my previous work as a case worker.I was involved in the collation of information on people filing claims against the Mental Health act.This again involved liaising with different professional bodies such as the police and health professionals.

Key skills learned and experience gained:

Dealing with separate professions

Collation of information

Case construction

Office work

Working as part of a team

2006 - 2006

Receptionist

Pertemps/Scottish Executive

This was another temporary worker contract.I gained valuable experience in dealing with the general public and people in all levels of government.I worked alone and was left to solve problems using my own initiative.

Key skills learned and experience gained:

Communication and problem solving in order to meet customers’ needs.

2005 - 2005

Support case worker

Pertemps/Scottish Executive

This was another temporary worker contract.I wanted experience away from a call centre and gained valuable work within bureaucracy.I was involved in the collation of information for insurance claims against criminal injury.This involved liaising with health professionals, the police and other related bodies.I also gained experience in office based computer use.

Key skills learned and experience gained:

Dealing with separate professions

Collation of information

Case construction

Office work

Working as part of a team

2004 - 2005

Emergency operator

Search/manpower

This was another temporary worker contract.I was promoted from my previous job into this new role.My task was to take emergency calls and route them to the relevant emergency service in the correct area.This was the most high pressure job I have done because people’s lives depended on me.Through this job I learned a lot in terms of dealing with stress and pressure.

Thinking on the spot and as an individual and making key split second decisions were valuable skills gained from a year of employment in this role.

Key skills learned and experience gained:

Working under pressure

Split second decision making

The consequences of decisions

Responsibility

2003 - 2004

Directory enquiry operator

Search

This was a short temporary worker contract to help pay for my university.I was a directory enquiry operator.I gained valuable experience in working under pressure and stress.The average call length target was 26 seconds.I also gained my first experience of dealing with the public.

Key skills learned and experience gained:

Working under pressure

Working to targets

Working in an office environment

2001 - 2002

Factory operator

Baxter`s Food Group

I was involved in general food preparation and was quickly promoted to the top factory floor post of machine operator.The reason for taking this job was that I felt I was too young for University and felt a year of ‘real’ life employment and experience at this age would stand me in good stead for the future.

Key skills learned and experience gained:

Team work

How factories operate

Education

Education
Aug 2002 - Jul 2007

Joint honors Sociology and Anthropology

University of Glasgow

Research was concentrated in the fields of Media, Consumption, Religion, International Relations and perception of environment.

Summary

I have, to compliment my university education, many years of life experience.Work places have ranged from a food factory, call centres, offices and classrooms in two different continents.This diverse range of employment, coupled with the ‘I can do it’ attitude has provided me with a set of skills that were missing from my university studies.

Being able to adapt to difficult circumstances by moving to Japan with no Japanese language skills and living in a provincial area where English is not spoken shows that nothing is impossible.

Having become interested in human relations, how people think and understand as well as the power of words from an early age, a career in a related industry has become very appealing.

My university degree in Sociology and Anthropology laid a good grounding to be built upon by experience in the ‘real’ world.In my degree I studied such diverse subjects as PR, media, consumerism, religion, culture and the construction of understanding to name a few areas of study.

Having held down various jobs since leaving school and completing a university degree while working demonstrates that hard work is not a problem.

I have combined my current job with intensive Japanese language study and will achieve a 2nd level Japanese language proficiency test grade in December of this year.

Having decided to start my career I am now looking to the long term.My career history to date shows that overcoming challenges and hard work are areas in which I have gained much experience.

So although I lack specific experience in the field of public relations, I feel I have a very good set of skills to bring to a new job and am excited to be on the verge of taking my first steps into my desired career.

Interest

I spend most of my free time studying Japanese.  I have sat various exams, both non-Japanese persons exams and exams for Japanese persons.

I am also very interested in world history, current events and people in general.  I love to meet people and learn about different cultures.

I have played soccer from about the age of 8 and currently play for my local town`s soccer team.

I have trained in Muay Thai for about 3 years.

I played in various bands in Glasgow and continue to write, record and produce music.

Certifications

Certifications

Joint honors Sociology and Anthropology

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漢字検定9級

J-Test

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日本語能力試験3級