I woke up early at 6:30 on Monday morning, earlier than I am usually up for school, to catch the train from Wokingham to London Waterloo. I was apprehensive about working in a London office and was hoping my colleagues weren’t as scary and daunting as I had thought!
I was greeted at the door by Rebecca who was responsible for overseeing my week. She gave me a briefing of the organisation and reassured me that nobody was too scary! She gave me a tour of the office and introduced me to a lot of the employees. I tried as hard as I could to remember everyone’s name but unfortunately there were so many they just seemed to pass me by!
I spent the majority of the rest of my day working alongside Olivia - we were looking at a competition called Careerhack where people had designed apps helping young people with information on different careers. I really enjoyed this even though it was the first time I’d ever had anything like it to work on.
To finish the day I had a Telepresence call with Ian, one of the Executive Directors. Once I got over the weirdness of using a version of Skype at work I got to hear from him all about how the company operates.
I spent my day on Tuesday working with Nicoletta in the Investment team where we discussed ways to promote articles. I was looking at a document with lots of investments where I had to pick out which projects to promote; I had never done anything like this before but really enjoyed it!
After this I had two meetings, the first of which was with Simon Renny, the Finance Director. I’m really interested in going into finance so I really enjoyed talking to him. He was able to give me some useful advice that I could use in the near future.
The second meeting I had was with Moira which was very productive and she was again able to give me lots of information about possible internships as well as a few interview tips to help me with my looming mock interview!
On Wednesday I was excited to work with Investors in People because I had been told it was the “best place to work” so I was keen to see if it would live up to my expectations. I worked with Scott all day, described as the funniest person in the office (by himself) so it was great to meet him and learn all about his role as an Apprentice and how he got to the position he is in. I had varied activities throughout the day focussing on developing strategies that could be used for the IIP web shop which was really enjoyable.
This morning I woke up as usual and entered the office knowing that my time at UKCES was coming to end which made me quite sad as I had really enjoyed my week so far.
Today I was working with part of the Research team including Aoife. We were looking at the vast number of surveys the team carry out, as well as Powerpoint and Tableau which they use to present their results. Tom is a Graduate Trainee so we had a good chat about his role in the company. I felt like I heard about a million surveys but I enjoyed learning about them all.
I also had a meeting with Sarah, an Assistant Director, who talked to me about the way the Commission operates and provided an overview of the Commissioners which was very interesting.
The final day had arrived, my last day of work experience with the Commission!
I got to work with James on a study of youth employment in Australia which was incredibly fun as I was able to try and solve the mystery of why Australia has such good work experience for young people.
After this I had my dreaded mock interview though surprisingly I wasn’t as scared for the interview as I had thought I would be. It went a lot better than I had feared and thanks to the great feedback I can go away and perfect my interview skills.
Overall I have really enjoyed my time on work experience at UKCES and I want to thank everyone who made it so enjoyable and hopefully I will see you again in the future!
UKCES hosts work experience placement for secondary school students as part of its youth policy and commitment to develop the next generation of talent. For practical suggestions on how your business can give valuable opportunities to young people and benefit from their energy and enthusiasm, look at our guides for employers: Not Just Making Tea and Grow Your Own.