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King Edward VI Community College

King Edward VI Community College

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Welcome back!


Jake McClure - Enterprise Adviser

What is the role of an enterprise adviser?

I’ve really pleased that there is so much happening for you in terms of opportunities to experience the world of work this year. I’ve just had the chance to see your new brilliant new information booklet which Ms Law has put together for you, and it’s going to be so useful for you when it comes to thinking about the type of work you would like to get a taste of – and even more importantly, when you contact the businesses or organisations yourself as there are loads of useful tips.

For many of you, the work experience placement will be your first taste of what it’s like to be in a real workplace. Understandably you’ll be excited, maybe slightly nervous and you may not know what to expect on your first day. However if you choose wisely, your decision may have a really big impact on your careers later on in life. I’ll tell you how mine changed my life and led me to work abroad for most of my twenties.

I grew up in Torquay, like some of you. In the summer holidays, there are lots of students from all over Europe and sometimes even further afield who come to Torbay to study English (and to have fun). I always thought it was a cool thing to do – and when I found out about work experience (in year 10), I was determined to get the chance to see what it was like to work in a language school. I researched the schools in the area, and drafted a letter to some of the Directors of Studies. I got my parents to check it – and then sent it, asking if they would be interested in a meeting.

I made sure I was presentable for all my meetings (as they are a bit like an informal interview) – and had rehearsed why I wanted to experience their world. I was lucky enough to spend a week at EF Language School where I spent time with the leaders on activities (sailing, sports, discos, tourist attractions) – and also time in classrooms with teachers. I met students from all over the world, and discovered how complex a business can be. The experience stayed with me, and in my holidays when I was back in Devon during my time at university, I ended up working for EF as an adult!

As a result of this, I ended up getting a teaching qualification, and working in this field in many countries. Even though I am not teaching any more, the skill set never leaves you and if you are able to speak in public, remember names, inspire and motivate, multi-task and have a desire to make lives better for people, you will excel in most areas of work!

Some tips for you ahead of your work experience:

Make contact ahead of your placement

This is an obvious one right?

True. But you’d be surprised at how this might slip your mind as you’re preparing other things. Keep in regular contact with your company to confirm that you have the correct starting date and time.

Talking with your employer beforehand also gives you the opportunity to ask about what you should wear, the typical working hours and whether there’s anything specific that you need to bring with you on your first day.

You should also ask the name of the person that will meet you when you arrive. If anything, speaking with your employer by phone will help put your mind at ease and confirm that they’re expecting you as planned.

Research the company before you start

As I mentioned earlier, having a good idea of what the company does before your first day will help you make sense of things when you’re there. It’ll also help you prepare some questions that you might want to ask during your placement.

The more research you do before your work experience, the more you’ll be able to engage in conversation with your colleagues. Trust me, your research won’t go unnoticed and the more you do, the more rewarding the experience will be for you.

In many cases, work experience placements often end up resulting in part-time or full-time jobs (like mine did), so if you enjoy your time there, bear in mind that your efforts could help you secure a job with the company in the future.

Enjoy the experience

Make sure you spend time researching different areas of work. If you aren’t sure what you want to do, you could subscribe to this YouTube channel (it’s called the WOW Show – the ‘World of Work’) – and have a look at the clips that have been uploaded:

I’ll be in the school on a regular basis, so if you want to ask me anything about career options, A Levels, university, apprenticeships or employment, do get in touch via Miss Law and I’ll make sure I find time to speak to you.