Shining the spotlight on our Kumon Graduate Training Scheme

18 November, 2013

Shining the spotlight on our Kumon Graduate Training Scheme

“I applied for the scheme because I really liked the company’s ethos and have always had a passion for working with young people.”

At Kumon, we believe our people are everything, and we are lucky to have a team of amazing, passionate individuals in each of our offices. Our Area Managers are key to the success of Kumon as they provide Instructors with on-going advice and support, to help them build their successful study centres.

Across Europe and Africa we offer a 12-month Graduate Training Scheme, which is designed to provide candidates with the skills and product knowledge required to make an outstanding Area Manager. We recently caught up with Sophie Cattell from our Leeds regional office, who told us all about her experience of this intensive training programme and her journey so far as an Area Manager.

Sophie told us: “I applied for the scheme because I really liked the company’s ethos and have always had a passion for working with young people. The training was brilliant, and so structured that it gave me the confidence I needed to be able to work in a professional, corporate environment. It was intense but in a really motivating way!

“There was a lot of information to learn, but I had a whole year to develop and build up the knowledge I needed to perform my role to a high standard. The seminars with the other trainees were a particular highlight; they were incredibly interesting and developed us into really strong, knowledgeable Area Managers.

“The support has been brilliant from everyone. There are times when I’ve felt overwhelmed at the prospect of being an Area Manager and the responsibilities that come with it, but there have always been other Associates to support me through that and because of that, there was never a time when I didn’t feel capable.”

So what does an average day as an Area Manager look like? Well, according to Sophie, “there’s really no such thing as an average day in Kumon!” She explains: “The autonomy of the role means every day can be different to the next. Usually it involves catching up with my Instructors on the phone, going out to visit their centres and working on a development area that we have previously highlighted. Occasionally I deliver Instructor training, which is one of my favourite parts of the role, and of course, there’s my own worksheet study so I can best support my Instructors who deliver these programmes to students in their centres.

“Studying the programmes has been challenging but so rewarding. I’ve just completed the English programme and the sense of achievement is a fantastic feeling, knowing that I join thousands of other Kumon Completers who have reached the ultimate milestone in their Kumon journeys.”

Finally, we asked Sophie to tell us about her favourite part of being an Area Manager. She enthusiastically told us: “There are so many rewarding aspects of the role but I’ve really enjoyed developing professional relationships with my Instructors, especially those who I’ve taken right through their training and into their careers as Instructors. Watching the centres grow and having a direct impact in the development of students is probably the most rewarding part.”

With bundles of enthusiasm, Sophie told us she would highly recommend the Graduate Training Scheme to others who share her passion for working with children and making a difference to their futures. The Area Manager role is challenging and varied; it requires energy, charisma and the drive to constantly improve, and in return it offers a wealth of satisfaction and rewards. If you have been inspired by Sophie’s story, visit