Jamie Simpson gives us a behind the scenes look at what it is like to be a Tutor for Kelvin TOP-SET
What did you do before joining Kelvin TOP-SET as a Tutor?
I actually came from an Adventure Tourism background. I set up various adventure businesses mostly based in Uganda, East Africa. The businesses were mainly water-based, running rafting or kayaking trips down Huge African Rivers like the Nile and Zambezi. I lived there for 12 years. I did all sorts of other things, as well as tourism; I looked after film crews, managed major expeditions and advised companies operating in harsh environments. I also moved into training oil and gas workers in vital water safety and bush survival techniques. I inevitably saw many incidents over the years, but never had a standardised system to work out what went wrong and why. This is where Kelvin TOP-SET comes in.
Can you tell us in brief what you have done with Kelvin TOP-SET since joining the company?
Its been fantastic, I’ve traveled all over the world. Some assignments have been in easy destinations and some a little more challenging. I’ve been involved in rolling out our 1-Day, 3-Day and now Tutor Development courses to major companies all around the globe.
Can you describe a typical day as a TOP-SET Tutor?
There is no real typical day as the clients are always different. The courses are great fun to teach and having new clients from different backgrounds always keeps it challenging. The courses are highly practical with a subject change or activity change at least every hour, so we are always kept on our toes. It’s a very intensive course we roll out so it’s non stop from the word go.
What do you see as the main benefits & challenges of your job?
Having different groups of people, from different cultures, with different individual skill sets, always keeps things challenging. It’s always very satisfying teaching a subject that you truly believe in, and know will help not only stop incidents but also save people’s lives.
What skills do you feel are necessary to perform well in your job?
Good people skills are essential. Being able to adapt to new people, cultures and languages are all necessary; being a ‘social chameleon’ so to speak. Keeping organised and running the show on time is always necessary as we have a huge amount of information to pack in over the duration of the course. From an investigative point of view, always keeping an open mind is essential. You can’t analyse or jump to conclusions too quickly. Changing peoples’ mind sets to keep an open mind when heading into and investigation can be a big challenge, but one I enjoy.
How did you find the experience of becoming a TOP-SET Tutor?
Intense. It was great. Kelvin TOP-SET have a great group of very experienced Tutors, Managers and Directors. I shadowed Senior Tutors and the Directors until, not only they felt comfortable, but also I felt completely comfortable delivering the courses. Having an understanding team and efficient office back in Scotland meant I always felt that I had great support wherever I was in the world.
What are the benefits and working culture like within Kelvin TOP-SET?
It’s great having a group of colleagues from such diverse backgrounds. It’s always interesting and means we can all bounce ideas off each other and learn from each other. Having an organised and incredibly efficient office that takes care of all the logistics seamlessly means I can turn up in a country whether it be Mexico, Nigeria or Scotland and know that everything is organised and ready to go. Also working for a company where I can pick up the phone and speak to any of the Directors directly is always reassuring. There are not many companies left in the world where it would be possible to do this.
How would you describe your work/life balance?
Fantastic. Working away from home for short stints means that when I get back I have lots of time to spend with my family. I can go kayaking, mountain biking, climbing and enjoy New Zealand’s fantastic outdoor playground.
Sum up your job in a few words
Exciting, dynamic, challenging and fun.