After finishing my A-Levels and securing a place at UCL to study English Literature, I embarked on my work experience with the Marketing and Communications department of the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce. Over the five days, I wrote press releases and blog posts, scheduled social media posts and sat on various meetings to gain a direct insight into the day-to-day workings of the Communications team.
I found writing the press releases and blog posts the most enjoyable part of the week, which links with my aspiration of becoming a journalist. I wrote on a variety of topics, such as the Doncaster Business Awards and recent events hosted by the Chamber. One of such events was the ‘How to be LinkedIn’ event that I attended mid-week, which covered the role of LinkedIn in regards to employment and recruitment and improving your engagement on the site. In addition, I found scheduling Twitter announcements highly enjoyable as I was exposed to a variety of websites that I had never come across before, such as Canva and Hootsuite.
I learnt the importance of the role social media plays within the organisation and how the Communications team use it to promote the work of Doncaster Chamber and attract new members. Furthermore, I have an appreciation of the vast scale of the Communications department’s responsibilities and how varied the job can be within one organisation, ensuring that a career in Communications remains fresh and exciting.
If I were to summarise my experience overall, I would express how much I have loved being a part of the team for the week. All the members of the team were incredibly friendly and welcoming, and I would recommend the Chamber as an organisation both to work for and as a service for your business. The work the Chamber does is unquestionably important for the Doncaster business community, as well as the education sector, and I would be thrilled to work with the Chamber and the Communications team in my career.
So why is work experience so valuable? As an employer, you are supporting young people in uncovering their professional interests and helping them realise their potential. In addition, young people bring a whole new energy and perspective to your work environment, which will add fresh ideas. By offering work experience, you will be helping shape young people’s perceptions of the world of work in a positive way so they are more likely to make informed choices about their future, which will undoubtedly encourage them to be excited about working within your industry.
As a young person, a work experience placement offers invaluable insight into the industry you are interested in working within that cannot be found anywhere else. It enhances your UCAS form or apprenticeship application and your future CV for employers, making you look more desirable as an employee and giving you something to talk about in interviews. It also allows you to develop transferable skills, such as communication and teamwork, and builds your confidence in interacting with adults. Finally, it gives you the opportunity to confirm whether you want to pursue your interest in this career further, but also decide whether you wish to explore additional options if it hasn't been exactly what you expected it would be.
‘Opportunities Doncaster’, a partnership organisation with the Chamber that is bringing business and education together, is an accessible way of finding and promoting work experience. Hundreds of local businesses are currently working with young people to raise their professional aspirations, in the form of delivering sessions to students in local schools, providing opportunities for students to visit their business or offering work experience opportunities and apprenticeships.
If you are interested in learning more about ‘Opportunities Doncaster’, either as an employer who wants to involve your business or a young person who wants to know more about the opportunities available to you, visit www.doncaster-chamber.co.uk/about-opportunities-doncaster.
In conclusion, I have thoroughly enjoyed my work experience in Doncaster Chamber and will take everything that I have learnt with me forwards into my career.