Local student Sam is spending a week at CASCAiD on work experience. We asked Sam to share his thoughts on the placement so far.
When I think of my time at CASCAiD, working with every aspect of their service, I remember how every person there managed their personal and professional lives with ease. One moment I could be having a conversation about web design and the next minute having a laugh about something, all the while keeping the professional side of things firmly on top. This was something I didn’t expect to happen in an office as usually in the media, those types of jobs are boring and unfulfilling. However, that is the whole point behind work experience. It gives you the first-hand account of a job and how to deal with one. Without having done anything like this, I would still think all office jobs are horrid and that I am simply useless at talking to people.
When I first took my steps into the CASCAiD offices, I felt nervous. My head was calculating nice things to say to people, ways to impress the staff; I was out of my comfort zone. But surprisingly, everyone was genuine and friendly, either that or they saw how nervous I was and took sympathy. Every little stereotype I had about office jobs had been blown out of the water: in its place landed a dream. I wanted to work at CASCAiD for longer than just one week of work experience, and so I spoke to one of the senior staff. After a quick conversation, I was told I could perhaps come down to the offices in holiday time and whenever I have spare time. That day, I finally realised the usefulness of the Work Experience Scheme. As a student, it provides the most realistic representation of being in a real job; you apply for the job yourself, travel to the job yourself and work with new people. It develops social skills, giving new ways of meeting people. And in my case, it has given me a possible career in a future where jobs are rarer than gold.
As an employer, allowing students into the workplace gives them the opportunity to see a real job in action, but it also gives them a young person’s perspective on the company, perhaps even pointing out areas of improvement. Another key point is that a single young person is one of many who are going to be carrying on doing jobs and filling positions in the future: giving them a head start in the world of work benefits society as a whole.
I would recommend work experience to everyone who has the opportunity to go out, find a place to work and then go learn about how you react to a workplace. It’s simple, easy and very effective. And you never know, it could just land you a job.