Work experience:  Pandemic work-arounds

Good quality work experience can have many benefits, but it hasn’t been possible this year, and it might remain more difficult in the future.  This made us wonder what could be done instead.  Having a good discussion with someone about their job, can sometimes give you as many pointers as spending a day in the workplace.  So we thought we’d try to do a couple of those for you to listen in to.  We spoke to a former student, and a parent who both have interesting jobs – probably ones you haven’t thought of before.

The idea was for you to listen and then have a go at finding someone to chat to.  You yourself might be able to find someone to talk to in an area you are interested in.  If not, then do ask us for some help – we may well have a contact who is just what you’re looking for.

The point of the chats we recorded was so that you could think about getting the most out of a discussion with someone:  thinking of what to ask and a good range of questions;  or of exploring something in more depth that catches your interest during the conversation.  You may well be interested in doing this now.  Without doubt you’ll need to do it within the next few years, either before leaving school or university.  So it makes sense to think about it now.

If you missed the zoom call, then you can watch and listen to the discussions below.

Sources of research and advice for the future

The Unifrog platform should be your first starting point for careers and university choices.  It can also help you think about work experience, volunteering and all the options available to you after school, from going abroad to university, to gap year possibilities.  It will help you with advice on apprenticeships and applications for them.  This might include building up your skills and competencies, or preparing your CV and covering letter.  Students are introduced to Unifrog at an early stage in Year 12, and parents are able to access it too.

Unifrog – The complete destinations platform.

Beyond Unifrog, you might also want to look at the following ideas, depending on what your question is.

I don’t know what I want to do

Have a look at ‘Start’ which will make suggestions based on the interests and characteristics you put down.  It’s available on the following link: Start – My profile (startprofile.com)

For a more detailed assessment, and some really useful extras, register for Prospects, using this link: http://www.prospects.ac.uk/myprospects_login.htm

For a quicker but interesting effort, have a look this Careers Coach which shows you interesting information about particular jobs – like how many jobs there are in these fields and what pay is like.

Watch the teacher Youtube video to see if any of their job areas appeal to you and speak with one of them.

Once you have found some ideas, book an appointment with Mr Nelson from the Careers Service (phil.careers@outlook.com).

Try the book:  ‘What colour is your Parachute’ which helps you to think about what you are suited for (borrow from Mrs Sergeant).

In Year 13, arrange a mock interview for the area you are interested in (speak to Mr Flett/Mrs Sargeant)

I have some ideas about what I want to do

If there is a professional body in that area (eg. engineering, psychology, accountancy), look up the body on Google and see what careers advice they have

Speak with a teacher or someone else you know about that area of work

If you want some work experience but don’t know who to ask, email Mrs Giles and ask to see her

Make an appointment with Mr Nelson from the Careers Service (phil.careers@outlook.com)

In Year 13, arrange a mock interview for the area you are interested in (speak to Mr Flett/Mrs Sargeant)

cgiles@highfields.derbyshire.sch.uk

I want to do work experience

If you want to do work experience for whatever reason, you need to speak with Mrs Giles, to give her contact details.  This includes where you/your parents are arranging the work experience.  The only time you do not need to let her know is if your work experience is going to be during holiday time.

If you have an area you want to work in but do not know what you want to do, Mrs Giles can discuss it with you. Email her to make an appointment.

How do I research University courses?

We will look at this in detail in June of Year 12, but if you want to get ahead and look earlier:

Use this UCAS Course search –  When you get onto the page, go to the Orange ‘Browse’ Section on the right. When you find a course you are interested in, it will help link you to the university website for that course. You may also be interested in the ‘Entry Requirements’ for the course.

You can also search for the type of course you want using Heap Online. Your tutor will have the password.

We have a database of former students and the courses they have gone to do (ask Mrs Sargeant).

I’m wondering where my university course might lead me

The websites of careers services at universities can be really useful.

This link helps you to see what degrees people did to get into particular areas of work.  So if you are thinking how might I get into ‘the retail business’ or ‘accountancy’ or ‘health service planning’, you can look at case studies from people in those jobs.  They also sometimes give you their own tips on how to get there. http://careers.dept.shef.ac.uk/casestudies/index.php

You could also look at ‘careers with my degree’ – http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/careers/students/degree

How do I find out more about Apprenticeships?

Have a look through the following websites:

This is the main site which should have all vacancies:  www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship

This is the site of a local agency in Chesterfield which looks to help you find apprenticeships in different areas.  It shows local vacancies and explains how it will support you: http://www.skillsforcareers.co.uk/

This site helps you think more about the type of work you might like http://www.apprenticeshipguide.co.uk/

Be clear about the difference between Higher Apprenticeships and Apprenticeships.

If you would like to talk to them, we have former students who can talk about their apprenticeships.

Social Media and Employability

Remember that at some point, social media may increase or decrease your chances of getting a job.   Have a look at this advice, and bear it in mind during Sixth Form, and after you leave school: http://www.shef.ac.uk/careers/students/gettingajob/media