Each of our team has their own story and their own reason for working here. But there is one common factor that unites us all: a passion for helping people to find new opportunities and transform their lives.

Hear from some of our staff about their own career journey, the varied routes they've taken to arrive here and how they have found working at Adviza.  

Carrie Grafham, Trainee Careers Adviser

I love the feeling you get when you may have just helped to change the course of a young person’s life.

Carrie Grafham, Trainee Careers Adviser at AdvizaI initially studied for a law degree and later, a Masters in Marketing. Prior to joining Adviza, I held commercial roles including Business Development Manager for an artisan confectioner, Division Director at a social media agency, Account Director for Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, and Brand Manager for Reckitt & Colman, a consumer goods company. I have also trained as a reflexologist and had my own practice for a couple of years, and volunteered as a Buckinghamshire Community Mediator and Young Enterprise Mentor, which helped me prepare for my current role.

I joined Adviza in March 2020, and am currently a Trainee Careers Adviser working in schools in Wiltshire where I deliver one-to-one interviews and group work. Alongside this I am studying for my Level 6 IAG qualification.

Moving into careers advice has been very rewarding for me, as I love helping the younger generation to make the right choices for them. As someone who didn’t get it right first time, I’m very motivated to ensure students get on the right pathway from the outset. Despite my legal and marketing qualifications it’s my certificate in mediation that has helped me the most in my role and I’m very open to gaining new qualifications relevant to my career at Adviza.

When I started here, one of the more challenging aspects of working as a Careers Adviser was the relative isolation of the role; I enjoy the independence, but I think it could be a challenge for some. I’ve really enjoyed learning new skills and being well supported by my managers and colleagues. I love the feeling you get when you may have just helped to change the course of a young person’s life.

Monique Smith, Area Manager

The best things about my role at Adviza are the flexibility and the opportunities I have had to progress.

Monique Smith, Area Manager at AdvizaMy first job was in McDonald’s, where I progressed to Deputy Manager before moving into roles more obviously associated with the work I do now. These roles include Voluntary Race and Relations Officer at the Race and Equality Council, Trainee Development Officer in adult education, Careers Adviser based at a female prison, National Careers Service Contract Manager and Employment and Skills Manager. I gained plenty of careers guidance and management experience in these roles, so when I joined Adviza in 2017, I was fairly confident I’d be able to adapt.

Prior to joining Adviza I also gained a lot of relevant qualifications including NVQs in providing Information, Advice and Guidance, Diplomas in Careers Guidance and various HR, leadership and professional training qualifications. I also earned a BA (Hons) degree in Race and Cultural Studies.

I joined Adviza as a Project Manager and enjoyed the variety of the role, and am currently an Area Manager which suits my skills, experience and qualifications. There’s a lot to learn when you join Adviza so my advice to any new starters would be to take advantage of all the free training available to you!

The best things about my role at Adviza are the flexibility and the opportunities I have had to progress. I have developed a lot over the last few years and feel I am still learning and growing with the organisation. I’ve been very fortunate that I have been able to develop as much as I have.

Lee Teideman, Regional Manager

It’s a rewarding career where life experience and knowledge play as big a part in your success as qualifications.

Lee Teideman, Regional Manager at AdvizaMy background and qualifications are in youth and community work - as a teenager I was a member of the local youth club where I quickly realised my passion for helping and supporting young people. 

I joined Adviza after graduating in 2003, when I was recruited as a keyworker to help launch an exciting new project, working with school pupils at risk of being excluded due to behavioural issues or vulnerabilities at home. I had a caseload of one-to-one work with young people, helping to increase their focus, confidence and aspirations. My role also involved working with community stakeholders during school holidays, creating activities that would engage young people and keep them away from crime or disorder.

Having started out as a young person in support groups and youth organisations, I strive to create new opportunities for young people to improve their aspirations and motivation. I feel fortunate that I began my career with Adviza, and have progressed through a variety of roles to become a senior manager.

I’ve had some amazing experiences and fantastic support from my managers and peers over the years, growing my knowledge and skills in partnership working, operational planning and strategy. I’ve travelled extensively to showcase Adviza's work and our success in supporting young people.

In my current strategic role, I focus on intensive projects for young people aged 15 to 25, delivered through teams on the ground and coordinated by Area Managers who report to me. Our projects continually evolve to remain relevant to the needs of young people.

I enjoy my role at Adviza and have an excellent work/life balance that allows me to manage my working hours around my children. If you’re interested in this line of work, I encourage you to try your hand at supporting young people through local volunteering opportunities. It’s a rewarding career where life experience and knowledge play as big a part in your success as qualifications. If you have a passion to help others, empathy and a great ability to communicate, come and work for Adviza.

Clare Blaze, First Contact Service Team Leader

At Adviza, you’re surrounded by an extended family. I couldn’t wish for a more caring, family-orientated, supportive bunch of colleagues.

Clare Blaze, First Contact Service Team Leader at AdvizaMy background is in hospitality, but I gradually learned that helping people is my calling. My career before joining Adviza includes 17 years in Hospitality Management which ended during the recession of 2008, when I got a job at Her Majesty's Young Offender Institution Huntercombe as a Learning Support Assistant. I really enjoyed this role, and quickly found that working within the “secure estate” is something you either can do or you can’t - it’s as simple as that!

Luckily for me I excelled and thought I had found my place, but in 2010 the institution was transformed into an adult male prison and my role was no longer required. Instead, I applied for a role there as a Careers Adviser, starting that year. While there I completed my Level 4 NVQ in Information Advice and Guidance (IAG) and started a degree in Criminology with the Open University.

In 2014 I joined Adviza as one of a handful of advisers set to work in its new Contact Centre. The role of the Contact Centre evolved over the next couple of years and in 2018 I was promoted to Cluster Lead for the new Progression Advisers based there, gaining a Level 4 Leadership and Management qualification and valuable management skills. I qualified as a Level 6 Careers Adviser in 2016; it was very challenging but worthwhile and I use elements of it daily. In late 2019 I took over leading the Contact Centre Team and piloting the Future Access Service.

Working for a charity won’t make you financially rich, but it will make your life rich in so many other ways; you do it for the love of helping people. The best part of working for Adviza is that you’re surrounded by an extended family. I couldn’t wish for a more caring, family-orientated, supportive bunch of colleagues! The opportunities that I have been given and the support to make those opportunities come to fruition has been invaluable.