My week of work experience at ETF

Creating an environment that nurtures learning is important to us at the Education and Training Foundation. Last week we hosted a Year 10 student, LC, who wrote a blog at the end of her week of work experience to share what she’d learned. 

My career plans 

In terms of a future career, I have always been quite unsure about what I would like to pursue. At school I take a lot of reading and writing based subjects, such as history and philosophy, so I have often considered going down a literature path, considering careers in fields such as publishing. 

However, having no real experience with work, I struggled to form a clear plan, so began my week of work experience ready and willing to get some clarity. 

What I got up to 

My week at ETF was split between the Learning Design team and the Marketing and Communications team. My diverse schedule gave me a real insight into a variety of different roles. 

I began the week with the Learning Design team. Firstly, I was given a presentation on their role within the charity. I was then asked to write my own article, to be published on ETF’s intranet, on a literature feature or word of my own choosing.  

Windowsill with a pot with Pride flags in it, a box with Pride badges and a Pride flag and sign on the window.
ETF office Pride display

My second and third days were spent with the Marketing and Communications team. I was introduced to the Canva site, where I designed headers for ETF’s website as well as other forms of media. I also helped with social media posts, the internal newsletter, and setting up Pride displays in communal areas.  

For me, the fourth day included more tasks that I had imagined would form part of my work experience. The spreadsheets I had to fill out and the transcript I proofread were jobs I could picture someone completing for work. Those tasks required a little more effort and concentration, but the day gave me an authentic look into work life and duties. 

Comparing initial and final thoughts  

Before the experience, I found it hard to imagine what the working environment would be like. My expectations were low, and I expected menial and drab tasks. But instead, I was greeted with teams who provided me with enriching and educational activities.  

I found the lack of supervision freeing and found that I worked much better when being given a self-managing task, with the opportunity to ask for help as I went.  I found this better than the format of some lessons in school, where you are often given information in a large chunk then left to do the task without one-on-one guidance along the way. 

I thought that the work culture was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t expect to be given tasks regarding Pride month and was pleased that promoting inclusivity was so key to the charity. 

Reflection and take aways

I feel that being thrown into the deep end of a real-life office/working environment was a helpful lesson in adjusting and adapting to a routine that was completely new to me.  

I can’t say for certain that I’ve gained any more clarity on my future career, but I’ve certainly learned generally about working. I want to use the knowledge I’ve learned to help make thoughtful decisions about my future education and use the skills I’ve picked up in my own day to day life, including: 

  • taking control of my own time keeping and being responsible for keeping myself on track 
  • getting accustomed to new challenges and facing them with confidence 
  • being willing to ask for advice or help to avoid further issues 
  • actively listening and absorbing information then making concise notes that I know would benefit me in the future. 

And those are only naming a few! My experience is something I will remember and carry with me for a long time, and I am very thankful for everyone at ETF for making it such a memorable and educational week. 

By LC, Year 10 student