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Studying A-levels can be stressful enough, even without the pressure of discovering your next steps into your future. For me, discovering my next steps and finding the right career pathway is proving to be a difficult task, therefore I turned to work experience to help. Work experience is the perfect way to gain insight into particular workspaces because

  • It aids your desirability to work in a certain environment.
  • It provides first-hand information on specific job roles.
  • It prepares you for what’s expected in a certain role.
  • It significantly improves your own skills and surfaces the ones needed in particular job roles.

However, work experience isn’t just handed to you on a gold plate; it’s not always available so you have to earn it. Before covid, I was fortunate enough to be provided with mock interviews by local businessmen and women for a range of companies, whilst I was in year 11 completing my GCSEs at Eaton Bank Academy. This opportunity was vital for students to impress the interviewees and make a great impression, and that’s what I did. Chloe Tatton attended the event on behalf of FFM and conducted the interviews, she firstly explained her role, what consists of it and told me a little bit about FFM. During the interview I was formal, sociable, and positive – this helped me to provide Chloe with important information about myself such as previous workplaces, the experiences I’ve had and the skills I believe I have. Chloe offered work experience to me, and instantly I took it.

I considered this opportunity as precious and I took it very seriously, so on the same day that I was interviewed by Chloe I dropped my CV into FFM off my own back. I showed up, explained the situation, and handed my CV to Chloe. She guided me around FFM and introduced me to the team. I had confidence in myself, and this enabled me to have valuable short conversations with a few team members that would leave them with a great first impression of me. Unfortunately, Covid struck, and this left me unable to visit FFM for a longer period of time than we expected. From late 2019 to early 2022 I kept in touch with Chloe through e-mail every few months, this displayed my interest and eagerness to come into FFM for work experience.

Fast forward to February 2022 and I have experienced 3 days working at FFM. They have provided me with experience in a financial sector of work, as I’ve sat with several employees who all have different roles within the business. I’ve witnessed the hard work, impeccable knowledge, and a driven mentality that they all have, and that’s why each and every employee highly succeeds at what they do. Being at FFM has taught me that teamwork and communication is key, and that’s how a positive network is created within a workplace. The FFM team all warmly welcomed me into their workspace and supported me with what I needed to get the best out of the 3 days I was there. Their efficiency and trust towards each other is outstanding, and it has inspired me to find a career pathway that provides this for myself. Take each opportunity that grabs your attention, because like I’ve learned at FFM, it may surprise you how much you enjoy being in that environment.

Use your initiative and find experience in your local area. Ring companies, drop your CV into their office send them a brief email. You don’t have to be a straight A student to gain lessons and experience in a workplace. So be hardworking, be driven and be yourself.

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