We believe that work experience is one of the best things young people can do to develop their skills, showcase their talent and explore different routes within an industry. It’s also a great way for businesses to scout future talent and bring fresh ideas into the office for a week or so.

But don’t just take our word for it, hear from six of our Digipigz who rave about their experiences, all very different but all very beneficial.

 

“I have done work experience at several places since I turned 13 and each has helped me to find what I wanted to do – mainly by highlighting what I didn’t want to do! Firstly I worked at a preschool – utter nightmare for me, but if you can talk to toddlers, you can talk to anyone. Honestly they have no filter! Secondly I was working in retail mainly customer services and again, taking my people skills up another notch with handfuls of angry customers and a lot of defusing situations. Work experience in retail also highlighted how much I love organizing things. I also did work experience in catering, fun, taught me a lot about working under-pressure, to a deadline but there was still something missing, and really the next step industry wise was either going to be travel or digital – as I get travel sickness I opted for trying out digital first. I tried product design, graphic design, media studies and finally marketing and then I was comfortable. I’ve found somewhere that I can comfortably fit all of my skills into one job role but none of this would have happened if I didn’t fail at finding my perfect job roles so many times before hand.”

 

“I recently completed two work experience placements in the media industry. I was going to be living at home, in Somerset, over the summer where there were practically no large media corporations. So I decided to take it upon myself to seek out companies that would benefit from digital content made for them to help build their brand. I found and spoke to two companies in the end: The Rolling Cocktail Company & Gert Lush Events Company. I spent two weeks working with each company. Both of these are very similar in that they are local businesses that provide catering/bar services. The first company, Rolling Cocktail, already had a website and a Facebook page that was being used however the Facebook page was lacking media rich content. After liaising with the business owner, I decided I would make some Cocktail ‘How To’ videos that would give the customers more of an insight into the drinks they sell. I planned, shot and edited a total of four videos completely by myself for this company. Whilst extremely nervous to do this by myself, the creative control that I had was incredible, and the responsibility of making decisions was incredibly gratifying. I also did some photography work for this client and I made some animated digital posters. Working with a small up and coming business as appose to a large media company meant that I was able to get hands on experience and I was able to create a lot of strong content that will extremely benefit my portfolio.

The second company, Gert Lush Events Company, was a start-up Events Company. This digital brand was virtually non-existent, so for this client I had a photography shoot day to create a lot of content. I then made them a website, using WordPress, I created and managed their Instagram and Facebook and posted regular content to build their brand. This client trusted me to post whatever I wanted on their social media and  had the power over the design of the website. This trust was extremely gratifying and I felt like my creative decisions were being truly respected.

To conclude, I’m really glad that I sought out these opportunities and really applied myself to the work because I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m glad I was able to work with small companies where I was able to get hands on experience over working for large corporations where I would have only been running/researching. It’s given me a promising insight into working freelance and creating digital content.”

 

“I think work experience is really important to actually see what the working place is like and if it is really for you. I think when you are in education you get given one perception of what that job role may be but it changes from one workplace to another. I’ve had an instance where I went for a job because that’s what my degree was but actually it really wasn’t for me and I soon learnt that there are so many other job roles in the same sector that can be more suited to what I mostly enjoy from what I studied.”

 

“A few weeks ago, I finished a five-week internship at local digital agency 3 SIDED CUBE. I found the whole experience amazingly useful, as I have now formed a clearer idea of what I want to do when this college year is over, and also I have gained the transferable skills I feel will benefit me in the wider world, such as communication and planning. I have also gained the experience within my chosen industry, and even more specifically in my dream job, which is a very rare thing for someone of my age to already have done. Doing this internship specifically at this time in my life, right before I have to make the ‘What Next?’ decision, has helped me massively, as I have been able to hear the opinions of people already in the industry about what I should do, and what they feel is more beneficial going into the digital industry, an insight I have only heard previously from within the classroom.”

 

“I am so happy that I chose to do a placement year. Without it, I wouldn’t have gained the valuable experience needed to boost my employability. I’ve learnt what it’s like to be surrounded by a team of motivated individuals and understand how my work no longer benefits only myself, but an entire business.

I’ve also been able to put my theory into practice and really get to grips with what goes on in the Marketing and PR industry behind the scenes. For example, I had no idea how much work and planning really goes into launching a new Marketing campaign: A brainstorming session, coming up with the initial idea, crafting a social media plan and PR list, sending off what seems like endless drafts for approval, launching the idea across multiple channels – and everything in between. Did I think the process was this detailed prior to my placement year? Honestly, no I didn’t.

After three work experience roles in the space of a year, I now feel confident that the Marketing and PR industry is the place for me. And the best part is, I’m going to graduate university with a whole range of new skills to help me succeed in my future career.”

 

“When I made the decision to attend university, I knew it was going to be vital to undertake a placement year, even then in 2014 gaining experience was all anybody seemed to talk about. Regardless of having my degree, I needed something else to help me stand out from the other people who would inevitably be applying for the same jobs as me.

Fast forward to 2017, it was time for me to begin my placement with Julia’s House Children’s Hospice in their corporate and events team. I had the most amazing year and learnt so many new things not only within the event sector but also about myself.

For me, placement has been an invaluable experience that has given me many firsts; I attended my first professional interview, received my first rejection (and a few more after that) and learnt how irritating it can be commuting during rush hour! Aside from the day to day tasks, I was able to network with business professionals from lots of different sectors and really get to grips with the business world. After completing my placement, I was able to secure a part time marketing role that I will undertake while completing my studies – something I don’t think would have been possible without the experience I gained through my time with Julia’s House. I am now going back to my final year of studies with a completely different outlook and I can apply real life knowledge to what I will be learning.”

 

If your business could offer our Digipigz a work experience placement, please do get in touch. Equally, if you are a young person seeking work experience opportunities, drop us a line and we can discuss how the Digipigz scheme could help you find that.