Making work experience count

Remember your school work experience placement fondly? Or are you happy to forget it? Imagine if it was worthwhile, eye-opening and fun as two Year 10 students discovered in a fortnight at Profusion. On their last day, they spoke to content editor Louise Scott

On the day before you arrived at Profusion, how did you feel?

Safiya: Nervous! I’d never been in a workplace before and I didn’t know what we were going to be doing. I didn’t think it would be like it is – it’s a much friendlier environment than I imagined. I thought it would be a much stricter place.

Elif: I was nervous as well. I was actually thinking ‘Oh it’s really hard’ because all my friends were doing their placements closer to home and I didn’t know Safiya before this. I was nervous about meeting all these new people! I thought we would just be photocopying things for people and that kind of thing. It’s much nicer than I expected.

What have you enjoyed the most about being here?

S: The activities. I’ve learned things that I wouldn’t have done in school. For instance we learned a bit about how to use Photoshop, which I really liked. Also finances – I’ve never learned about that before and it will really help me. When I go into a job, if it’s minimum wage I can work out how much I’m going to earn.

E: I’ve liked learning loads of new stuff and meeting people. Seeing new people every day and talking to them has really helped me with my confidence. I just feel I know so much more about work life and coding! We’d done Python at school but here we did HTML, which Ebenezer taught us using the website. In the data science team, Madhi taught us R, CSS and a bit of Java. Although we do Python at school we were a bit stuck with it so Dale went through it with us. It’s really interesting to create with code. It’s not just about writing it – you need to think about the logic and if it would work logically. I enjoyed that.

How was the experience overall, and the environment?

E: Everybody was very welcoming and ready to help us. They introduced themselves and talked to us about what they do. It’s a nice environment.

S: It’s just really … free. Some places can be pressurising but here everyone is friendly and willing to help you.

What was the hardest thing about it?

S: Probably coding with R – I struggle a bit with that.

So … any ideas about what you’d like to do after school?

E: Not really, but maybe something to do with computing or science. My favourite subjects are maths and science … numbers.

S: I’m interested in media – film and things like that.

When you reflect on your time here, in what ways will you feel it benefitted you the most?

S: There is so much that we’ve done here. But as I do computer science at school I feel like I’ve really benefitted a lot in that area, because now I’ve been opened to new stuff. I’ve also learned how to make better choices and be independent.

E: I’ve learned that I would like this type of job but it’s not exactly what I want. Now I know that for my next work experience I want to try something similar but a bit different – maybe with a bit more science. So it’s helped me to know that.

Anything else?

Both: Thanks to everyone for having us!

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Louise Scott

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