New skills, new concepts, new outlook
- Written by: Izzy
- Published: 21st July 2023
Student work experience with the Policy and Academy team at the ALLIANCE.
The ALLIANCE is a Scottish third sector health and social care organisation. It promotes the voices of lived experience. My work experience here has been engaging, interesting and allowed me to see work from another perspective.
I am 17 and currently at my second year at sixth form in Gloucestershire, England. This work experience has allowed me to explore an authentic world of work, which differs from the work I do at school entirely. I was involved (by my very friendly and helpful colleagues) in a plethora of activities.
- Writing and presenting a hypothetical campaign
- Writing and publishing an article on the 2023 Engender Report
- Attending meetings virtually and in-person
- Creating posters and Twitter posts using Canva
Writing an Article
This involved writing and publishing an article on Engender’s 2023 Sex and Power Report. This gave me the confidence in my written work and allowed me to undertake independent research, condense my findings and create an article. I applied my previous knowledge on gender equality, which I had learnt in Sociology and English Literature; both of which I study at A Level (equivalent of Scottish Highers) and I used the knowledge I gained at my work placement to broaden my writing and create a well-informed article. It made me feel very proud because I had never had my work published online before, and it was great to hear responses from colleagues and people online.
Another aspect of this experience which differed to my experiences at school and allowed me to explore new ideas and ways of thinking was the technological aspects. I was given a computer to use during my week at the ALLIANCE this meant I was able to use Canva, Teams, Outlook and Google which gave me some responsibility in ensuring my emails were up to date, an opportunity to learn how to use Canva, and the ability to do independent work.
At my time at the ALLIANCE, I was given the responsibility to create Twitter posts, and posters for events the ALLIANCE are holding. This required a creative touch and an ability to stick to the brief I was given, which are both important skills. It made me feel proud when I saw these posts were used on the ALLIANCE’s Twitter page. Additionally, the feedback I received when creating these was useful because it meant I could reassess where my first attempt was not quite right and learn from my mistakes.
During my work experience, I had several meetings covering many topics, like the National Care Service, parliamentary monitoring, and understanding the titles my colleagues held. These gave me an insight to the careers available in the ALLIANCE and the Health and Social care sector as a whole. This was interesting as it showed me many different pathways, from policy and communications to finance and politics, the ALLIANCE covers many different interesting aspects of health and social care. Therefore, no matter your interest, there is always something to do.
However, I was not just learning things I already knew and understood at this placement, I was somewhat thrown into the ‘deep end’ with some tasks and new information. For example, I had never explored the National Care Service before. I experienced various new areas which helped me build my knowledge of different areas and have a more varied understanding and skill set.
Meetings and Conversations
I had multiple conversations with my supervisors and colleagues during the week. These were constructive and thoroughly enjoyable. It meant I could voice my opinions on women’s health, politics and I felt ‘heard’ and comfortable when discussing this. Crucially, listening to them speak helped me to learn lots of new information and I heard how they were implementing change, and making the world a better place.
My involvement in the programme surprised me as I was excited by how much responsibility I was given, and how the team at the ALLIANCE treated me as a member of the team. Yet, it was evident that the team understood my capabilities and did not expect me to be an expert! This is one of the reasons why I enjoyed my work experience so much, because I was given creative freedom, trust and I felt like I was making positive change for the world.
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