We were lucky to have a university student with us for the past two weeks. It isn’t something that we do very often with only around two or three placements being undertaken in a year. It was a valuable experience for us all, not just for the student. Having someone within the team looking at what we do, asking questions and giving us a different perspective was incredibly useful.
Today was the last day and we spent a bit of time replaying what had happened during the fortnight she was with us. It was a great experience. When asked whether there were any questions for us she said ‘can I have a job?’ I love the fact that someone comes into the workplace with no knowledge of what to expect and after a short period of time recognises it as a great place to be.
It also was an opportunity to reflect on how interesting the work is and that we are actually in a privileged position to be able to be part of the team. There was a chance to reconnect with why most of us joined and do the job within the public sector. Amid the hustle and bustle it is easy to forget this. I have come to accept that the pace and demand of the work is not going to reduce and we need to embrace it.
I would like to see more organisations helping with work experience. It was important to me when I was trying to start my career, and I think it is even more important in the modern world. Young people often face a struggle to get into the work they want to do and need to have that experience of the workplace. When we are busy allowing students in can feel like additional work but if we all take that view how are young people going to develop.
These two weeks has been helpful and enlightening for us all. For the staff there was an opportunity to get a new perspective on the work and to reconnect with why we joined the organisation. For the student it was hopefully a great experience of the workplace to help with the future career.