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Selection: staff and student perspectives

Staff perspective

Student Programme Support Worker Victoria Wilson completed her first solo selection trip to Kabubbu (Uganda) in December 2012. Here, she shares her experience.

I was very excited, although conducting selection alone was a new experience for me. Being the only person interviewing potential candidates and feeding back to the team at Pestalozzi was a big responsibility. Meeting the candidates was an amazing experience and I enjoyed each and every one of the interviews I conducted. Alongside the joy of meeting the candidates was the worry of who would be successful and who would not. I wish I could have offered them all a Pestalozzi scholarship!

On my return to the UK, the weight of my responsibility really hit me and I wondered how I could make such a decision. Luckily, I had the experienced team at Pestalozzi to help me reflect, discuss and decide on which students would be best suited to a Pestalozzi scholarship.  The Pestalozzi selection experience is an excellent learning opportunity for everyone involved and I hope even those students who are not offered a Pestalozzi scholarship are able to take something positive from the experience.

Student perspective

Tim and Habiiba were two of the students chosen to come to Pestalozzi after Victoria's selection trip to Uganda.

Tim: I felt nervous at first, afraid I would not make it from among the many bright students that were present. But we were all in the same situation and I managed to somehow gain some confidence which was further boosted by the encouraging words of Pestalozzi staff Charlie and Katie.

Habiiba: Papa called me on an evening before my final interviews. I was so nervous! I could not imagine myself doing such important exams so soon after my O-level finals. The idea of another deciding test (the IELTS) freaked me out!

Tim: For my parents, this was the longest wait of their lives. Their only wish was that I would receive the scholarship. On my part, the wait seemed so long that all pictures of me in Pestalozzi had long faded out of my mind. Then I learnt that I had got the scholarship! I was ineffably excited. I can’t forget smiling all through the day and sleep was far away from my eyes that night. It was the best surprise of my life.

Habiiba: Two months after the interviews, Papa called me to give me the best news ever. . . I was on the road to Pestalozzi! If he had not cautioned me, I would have died of excitement. I am not sure how everything would have ended. I still cry with joy every time I remember how I got here. It means a lot to me and my family!

For further information regarding partnerships and selection processes please contact Mags Alexander on