A day in the life of...
Liz - Assessment Manager
My background teaching English as a Foreign Language has been a big advantage to my current role as Product Manager responsible for IGCSE English as a Second Language. My first six months were a really steep learning curve, but it helped that everyone at Cambridge Assessment is really supportive, and that many employees have backgrounds in teaching so there’s a lot of common ground. A typical day for me involves working on question papers, dealing with the exam cycle and communication: answering customer service queries and enquiries from schools (both in the UK and internationally). This is one of the most interesting things about the job: we have around 42,000 candidates around the world taking English as a Second Language so on a daily basis I deal with lots of international enquiries, from China to Egypt to Germany.
It’s my job to manage processes, like checking exam papers, overseeing consultants and setting up meetings editing exam materials. The role is really varied and there is always a lot to do, but it’s intellectually stimulating and keeps you on your toes. I work really hard but I’m definitely glad I made the leap from teaching – I haven't looked back.
Ashley - Assessment Manager
After having been a teacher for eight years I wanted to progress my career as well as move towards a more healthy work life balance. I felt that Cambridge Assessment suited my extensive experience in examining. I’ve now been a Product Manager for a year, managing a suite of social science subjects. I’m mostly based at my desk in Cambridge but there's always a lot do and it’s very rare to be doing the same task all day, so it’s never dull. Outside of exam season my work is mainly checking and approving marking schemes and exam papers, but during exam season I’m managing examiners and making sure marking is completed accurately and to schedule. This is our busiest time, particularly as my role acts as a lynchpin between other parts of the company. Despite there being real pressure to get everything done properly and on time, it’s actually quite good fun, as there’s always an atmosphere of everyone pulling together.
Obviously a big part of the job is maintaining high attention to detail and being organised and proactive. We’re catering for thousands of students worldwide, so it’s crucial to get it right first time every time, and I certainly feel a large amount of responsibility in my role. The hard work is always rewarded, though, because Cambridge Assessment is a lovely place to work and I’ve made some really good friends. There’s a social committee that organises events, quizzes, Christmas and summer parties, so even when you’re at your busiest you never feel hard done by!