Michelle May, Volunteer

“I wanted to give back to my local community to show you can get somewhere without going down the university route.”

  • Name: Michelle May
  • Job title: Customer Service Manager
  • Organisation: Santander

Can you tell us a little bit about your role?

A typical day in the Doncaster branch is anything but quiet. My job involves making sure the team are in the right places at the right times to deal with the customers who are walking through the door, calling up or speaking to us via the website. This involves a lot of planning and being flexible. I enjoy coaching my team to be the best they can be and making sure we can help our customers. The most challenging part of my job recently has been the covid pandemic as it has meant we have had to make a lot of changes very quickly.

How did you get to where you are today?

I went to school and carried onto 6th form to complete my A-levels but didn’t go to university as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I then started a job in a travel agency working in the exchange bureau and then applied to work at Santander. I started as a cashier and worked my way up to my current role.

What did you want to be when you were in school?

When I was at school I didn’t really know! I always like talking to people so knew it would a job working in customer service.

Who or what inspires you, and why?

My parents inspire me. They had myself at a young age but both kept working even though it was hard to juggle work and family life, they just kept on going and are still married 38 years later. They both have a really strong work ethic which I believe has been passed down to myself and brothers and sister.

When did you begin volunteering with Inspiring the Future, and why did you decide to start?

I signed up to Inspiring the Future in Feb 2020 just before the pandemic started as my manager had told me about her experiences and I wanted to give back to my local community to show you can get somewhere without going down the university route.

What Inspiring the Future activities have you participated in so far?

I’ve taken part in a zoom session with 5 local primary schools in Doncaster telling them about my job and what it involves day to day. I also spoke about my experiences in branch and what subjects I did at school that help me with my job.

How have you benefited from volunteering with Inspiring the Future?

I feel it has given me more confidence in talking to people about what I do in my job role. To be able to say I take part makes me really proud and grateful that I work for a company that allows me the time to do this.

What would you say to those thinking of joining our volunteer community? Do you have any tips/ advice?

I didn’t think I would have time but you can sign up to as many as you can. This means that when I do, I can give it my full attention and the response you get from the children is amazing.

If you could give one piece of advice to a young person, what would it be?

Just go for it, don’t be embarrassed if it doesn’t work, you tried your best and can always have another go!

Sign up to enable your students to hear from inspiring volunteers like Michelle Become a volunteer with Primary Futures Doncaster