My name is Zahra Mahmood and I am 15 years old. I am a British Pakistani and attend Bluecoat Academy. I am in year 10 going into year 11. The GCSE’s I am studying are English Language, English Literature, Double Science (Core and Additional), Maths, Religious Studies, Geography, German and Information Technology. I am a very active person, I am always playing sports or taking part in activities at school. I play for a cricket team called Notts and Arnold Cricket Club and once played for the Under 13’s Nottinghamshire County Girls Cricket Team!
|NTU Arkwright Building|
I was quite nervous on the first day of work experience at Nottingham Trent University.This was a new experience for me, I had never had a job before this. I was to work in the Schools, Colleges and Community Outreach department. My supervisors were Laura Hope and Siba Munsanje, they gave me a timetable for the 3 days and vaguely described what I was going to do. Most of my time was spent with Siba, she showed me around the university and helped me complete my tasks.
My first job was to attended a Pathways to Law workshop. It showcased the different types of jobs students could expect to do with a degree in law. It was quite interesting and new to me. I learnt that particular areas in law are in decline, which was surprising as I assumed more students would be interested in those particular areas. After the workshop, I took my lunch break and met up with my friends. They were on work experience too so it was nice to compare notes.
Just after lunch, Siba took me on a campus tour around the university, I had the opportunity to see what it offered to students. Siba then explained what her job was, she mentioned the department was looking for someone to replace her for next year because she was going back to studying at university for her final year. She showed me how to manage the different social media platforms used by the department. LinkedIn and Pinterest, in particular, were new to me. Perhaps I’ll use them more often when I attend university in the future.
|Year 9 campus visit|
I wasn’t nervous on the second day of work experience because I knew who I was working with and what I was doing. Siba taught me about SWOT analysis, which is analysing a business by knowing its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is used a lot when studying business at university, which is interesting to me because I may decide to take business when I get to university. We used SWOT to analyse the department’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages in order to see how we could improve them.
Later in the day, I helped out with a year 9 campus visit. I was in charge of the department’s Instagram and Twitter pages. My responsibilities included tweeting the school that was visiting and taking photos of the activities they were doing. I escorted them on the campus tour, afterwards each group did a presentation about their SAM’s (Student Ambassador Mentors). The year 9’s were interesting to help because I was older than them and they listened to me. At the end of the visit, I went back to the office and edited a blog about budgeting. I did not know much about budgeting so I did some research on it. As editor, I made it easier to read by structuring it better, added a few pictures and made it more engaging.
On day three of my work experience, I learnt about an online learning space called NOW for current NTU students. Almost everything at university is online and if you miss a lecture from your module, you can access it from that website. Lecturers tend to put resources on there. This is completely different to how work is at school, everything is on paper and the only time you work on a computer is during IT or Computing lessons.
I helped out on a year 12 campus visit. My responsibilities were to take pictures of the students and post them on Twitter and Instagram, to respond to online comments from the students and monitor the entries to our online competition. The year 12’s did different workshops compared to the year 9’s, they learnt how to write CV’s and did mock interviews. I noticed the year 12’s were more serious about Higher Education compared to the year 9’s, they worked independently during the activities.
I then went back to the office to start working on this post! I felt like this work experience was a good experience for me and was something that I might think about doing in the future as my job. It taught me useful things that could be of use while I’m still at school. I’m more confident with meeting new people and I got a chance to put my knowledge of social media into practise. Naturally, my generation grew up with social media around us so it was great to use this for my job. I plan to complete my A-levels and get a job in my free time to gain experience of being in work environment. My goal is to go to university and see where it takes me from there!
Please note: The work experience was from 24/06/2014 to 26/06/2014.
Author: Zahra Mahmood
Editor: Siba Munsanje