Becoming a GoTeach Champion – Jen Sharp

Published on 15/02/2024

As a GoTeach Champion and Bridge Builder mentor, Jen Sharp (Contact Centre Director, DHL Express) has frequently supported the DHL UK Foundation with our mission to end youth unemployment.  Having interacted with over 300 young people through mentoring, classroom sessions and assemblies, Jen embodies the spirit of GoTeach and is on a mission to encourage even more DHL colleagues around the UK to get involved.

What made you sign up to GoTeach?

My own experiences at school have allowed me to really connect with GoTeach as I know initiatives like these would have been a great support for me.  During school, I was good at everything and great at nothing – I never had any clear direction or passion and as a result I often felt lost about what I wanted to do in the world.

I first worked for DHL at 21 in a sales role and then returned to DHL Express 5 years ago.  I am really passionate about my role and I love working in sales, however when I was at a school I never knew it was a career option.  Throughout my career journey, I have learned and developed my skills and am now in a position where I can give back.  GoTeach builds bridges between schools and the business and I would have really appreciated this when I was at school.  Good grades don’t always translate into the real world and careers can feel like being in a marathon with so many obstacles to overcome.  Supporting GoTeach allows me to empower students to take more ownership of their future and continue to aim high despite challenges that they may face.

How have you found your experience of GoTeach?

When I first started with GoTeach, it was a massive step out of my comfort zone.  Going into a school can be a bit scary and at the time I probably would have rather presented to 700 work colleagues than 30 students!  However, when you see the spark in students and know that you have helped even one student, it makes it all worth it.  These sessions really stay with you and they make me excited for the next visit.  As a GoTeach Champion, I get to build a close relationship with my local school, becoming a familiar face to the students whilst recruiting new DHL supporters to take part. As a result, GoTeach is also a great opportunity to meet colleagues from other divisions allowing for impactful connections to be built across the business.

Supporting as a Bridge Builder mentor to a young person on the City Year programme has also been an amazing experience. One to one mentoring allows you to see the development and growth from beginning to end.  The monthly calls allow me to focus on something completely different and make a positive impact on my mentee.  One of my highlights is supporting mentees through their mock interviews.  You can see the difference in their faces from when they nervously walk in to when they are leaving with a spring in their step.

There is nothing more important than helping others and GoTeach allows you to inspire people to be their natural self and aim higher.  The DHL DNA involves thinking globally but this can start at the community level and GoTeach offers a great opportunity to do this.

What were the main challenges you overcome?

I think many people would feel that they don’t have the time.  However, the beauty of GoTeach is that you can balance the amount that you do and find something to suit your time constraints.

Taking part in GoTeach can really take me out of my comfort zone but over time, you begin to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You need to be able to think on your feet and it is important to show your vulnerabilities to others.  I have learned that showing your flaws will encourage others to embrace who they are.

What advice would you give any DHL colleague who is considering applying?

Just do it! Put yourself forward and put yourself through the process, you will get far more out of it then you put in. We have the support of the business so why wouldn’t you want to help, some of those we support could even be future employees!

What three words would you use to describe GoTeach?

Inspiring, impactful and enjoyable!