At the Jack Petchey Foundation, we’re thrilled to invite young people to witness how the Foundation operates first-hand. This past summer, Joel joined us and tackled various tasks around the office. Read below to learn about Joel’s valuable work experience!
Before my work experience, a year and a few months ago, the Speakers Trust came to my school and did a workshop about Jack Petchey’s Speak Out Challenge. My classmates and I wrote speeches and performed the speeches in front of 30 people in a room. After being selected by my teachers, I was on stage at Chelsea Academy, performing my speech at the Regional Finals. Amazingly, to this day, I don’t really understand how I was awarded 3rd place with so little preparation. The Speak Out Challenge raised my confidence completely and opened doors for me. I could never have imagined.
It would be another year before a simple Google search took me to the Foundation’s office, completing a two-week work experience placement. I was always a nervous person when it came to trying new things and stepping out of my comfort zone, but with my newfound confidence from the Speak Out Challenge (and consistent urging from my mother), I applied for something I had always wanted to do but never felt I had the opportunity to do. Work experience for an organisation I loved.
Before I arrived at the office on a Monday morning in early August, I was anxious, to say the least, but my worries were put to rest when I met the amazing people working for the Foundation like Nadia (who I was shadowing) as well as Jess, Carl, Max, Aaron, Allison, Khushi, Dawn, Vicky and so many more. They made me feel I had been there forever. On the first day, I was tasked to create a database of information for the applicants for Jack Petchey’s 50/50 grants (a grant programme for people on the Achiever’s Network aimed at helping young people develop skills) and also give my opinion on whether their project is worth investment. For the rest of the week, I worked on various aspects of the Achiever’s Network programme for Achiever’s Network 11 and 12, including filling out databases, sending out invitation letters for graduation and filing applications (including my own!).
After returning from a week’s holiday break, I did many more varied activities. I created a yearbook for the people on the Achiever’s Network 11 programme on Monday. I sat on an interview panel as the youth representative for the newly created position of Partnerships Officer. It was very useful to learn the type of answers required for interview questions, the type of questions interviewers ask and the interview skills that I can take to future job interviews. The next day, I attended the YCP’s (Youth Consultation Panel’s) Youth Voice Conference in which multiple partner organisations such as Speaker’s Trust, Table Tennis England, Mayor’s Fund for London and many more came together to network, discuss how to improve youth engagement in their respective organisations and listen to talks from people and organisations such as Jemimah Olaniyi, Epping Forest Youth Council and Partnership for Young London. It was a wonderful day to make new connections and meet amazing and interesting people. I then learned about methods on how to do search optimisation for the Foundation’s blog articles.
Throughout the incredible two weeks, I learned so many transferable skills, gained so much experience of being in an office environment, met brilliant people that I will always remember and gained a new level of respect and appreciation for the work that the Foundation does on a day-to-day basis. For that, I will always be grateful, and wherever I go in the future, hopefully, this is not the end of my connection with the Jack Petchey Foundation.
Are you a young person who wishes to gain office experience within the youth sector? Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer and gain some work experience at the same time!