When we set-up Beyond Local 6 years ago we made a commitment to find ways to reach out to the young people in our community. One of the best ways we have been able to do this is via work experience.
From day one, when we take someone on for work experience they become part of the Beyond Local team working on real projects for real clients. It’s fascinating to see how they respond to a brief and the direction they take a project in. And that’s the part we love and why we have continued to do this. Mark and I are ‘digital dinosaurs’, we have to work hard to keep ourselves up-to-date. Whereas for the younger generation of ‘digital natives’ much of the thinking behind what we ‘do’ will be second nature. When we set a brief at the start of the week it is always with a tinge of excitement waiting to see what they’re going to come up with.
Employers When you open your doors to a work experience candidate, no matter what line of work you’re in it’s an opportunity for both parties to learn. Passing your knowledge onto someone is like showing them around a place you know well but had perhaps started to take for granted; you get to see it with fresh eyes. When it is taken seriously work experience has the potential to be a significant moment in a young person’s life - in essence you’re helping them to make an informed decision about the direction they might take their life in.
Students One of the mottos we love is ‘learn by doing’ because in our line of work things are constantly evolving. Who knows what will be the next ‘big thing’ but if you remain open to change and accept that the learning never stops for any of us then you’re likely to find yourself in good company.
Work experience is your opportunity to make some decisions based on fact rather than the opinion of others. Make the experience yours and own it. Do the research beforehand and find the right employer for you. Build a relationship with them and start the week with an open mind and be ready to soak it all up.