Earlier this month, second year students, Grace Esposito (St Thomas Aquinas School) and Daniel Stansbie (Turves Green Boys School) enjoyed their two week work experience opportunity at one of the biggest and most exciting professional services firms in the world, EY. Both students achieved a strong set of AS Level results last summer, and are looking to begin building a career in business ater college. This work experience opportunity is designed for students focused on a career in business and exploring alternatives to university, so it was the perfect foundation for Grace and Daniel to gain a head start in their respective careers.
During the two week work experience, students had the opportunity to experience the day to day activities of an executive assistant in Ernst and Young and also participated in workshops to improve interview technique, telephone etiquette and CV writing. The experience gave the students an overview of what working in EY is like and allowed them to liaise with various departments and work with several teams. Grace and Daniel were given challenging work on a diverse range of projects and clients, which allowed them to develop transferable skills. In addition to this, they received on the job support and mentoring from a team of buddies specifically assigned to them.
Cadbury College's Work Placement Officer, Camilla Rasmussen, said: "From my point of view, it is fantastic to be able to work with a worldwide organisation. Cadbury College have had a relationship with EY for several years now and it's great for a couple of students to have such an all inclusive work placement on an annual basis. I was able to meet with the EY staff in their Birmingham offices before the placement began and during the experience, and they were so proactive in supporting the students and helping them on their way into the corporate world. If only every provider were like them!"
Speaking about his experiences, Daniel said, "It gives you a real feel for what it is like to work in a corporate environment and allows you to build links in the industry. My organisation and prioritisation skills were much improved because of this work placement. I have a clearer picture of my career pathway as a result of this placement." Commnting on his performance over the two week process, Daniel's mentor said "Daniel has been a pleasure to work with and a great representative of Cadbury College. Daniel always arrived promptly, was well presented and able to communicate with the team. He was faced with some tasks that were tricky but worked well to get clarification to achieve the right outcome. Daniel has supported the team and been very efficient in his interactions. Well done!"
Talking about how the experience is likely to benefit her and her future aspirations, Grace commented, "The work experience helped me a gain skills that can use in the future, and it gave me confidence in my career aspirations as I now have a better understanding of the professional environment. The people there made me feel very included and part of the team. I have learnt that I am flexible and can adapt to changes with a positive attitude, as during the experience I was given tasks and deadlines. I gained communication skills as I had meetings with the team I was working with as well as the wider workforce, from this I was able to talk effectively with colleagues about the work I was doing. This work experience was outstanding as I could ask questions with not only helped me perform better during the week, but also to assist me as a being a career." Grace was a credit to the EY team, and her mentor commented: "Grace was a delight to have in the team and an excellent ambassador for Cadbury College. She was enthusiastic, punctual, listened and applied herself to the many electronic learning sessions really well. The Executive Assistants that Grace worked with all gave good feedback, saying that your attention to detail was exemplary. Grace is organised in her approach and mixed well with the team. She was a joy to have in the office and on a personal note, I miss her being here!"
Overall, the students had an eye-opening experience, and we wish them the best of luck in their upcoing A-level examinations and for the future!
Check out what the students actually got up to on a day-to-day basis, and see the students with their EY team: