"We’re absolutely delighted that even though this was the first time we've hosted our work experience remotely, all of the students grasped this opportunity, enhanced their employability skills and delivered thoughtful presentations.
"We thoroughly enjoyed working with Ahead Partnership again to make sure that our work experience could still bring these opportunities to young people in Birmingham. It has been a tough year for young people and activities like this will really make a difference to their futures. A huge well done to our students and a big thank you to all of our colleagues involved."
Christina Pendleton, Head of People and Engagement at Intercity Technology
Yusuf gets work experience from home during the pandemic
Yusuf is a sixth form student in Birmingham
I found out about the virtual work experience at Intercity Technology through an email from our Careers Leader at school and I definitely wanted to take part because I want to be a software or web developer in the future so this was really relevant. For me, the work experience was really engaging even though it was taking place online which is different to traditional work experience. I was learning from home at the time so it was fantastic to be able to have this experience during the pandemic.
Sessions were delivered on both technological topics as well as 'soft' skills, so it was wide-ranging and clearly designed so that no matter how knowledgeable you might be you would still be able to take something away from the whole experience by the end of it.
Intercity delivered virtual sessions on a number of topics and experts (all Intercity Technology employees) were on hand to give presentations and take questions from us. Later, we received sessions on 'soft' skills: presentation tips, interview advice, as well as a session on LinkedIn.
Throughout the process, all young participants had a 'mentor' - an Intercity employee whose task was to guide you through the work experience. I had several sessions with my mentor which gave me the opportunity to receive answers to many questions that I had and I really got a lot out of working with them.
We had a research project to complete which asked us about the lessons Intercity could take from 2020 for its customers and what we had learned from it ourselves. We got a PowerPoint that helped guide us through the project but it was 'self-directed learning' which is really important for the workplace. At the end of the week we presented our research findings to a panel of Intercity employees. My mentor was extremely helpful in giving a detailed review of my PowerPoint by letting me know what aspects could be improved as well as praising what I got right. I was excited and nervous to do well. The good thing is, the panel made me feel welcome and I was able to get through my presentations without a hitch - everything went smoothly.
Also at the end of the work experience was a mock job interview. This was probably my favourite part of the experience. The preparation processes for both the presentation and interview required me to do some self-examination which I had never done before, and I most definitely learnt some things about myself as I did that. After I completed my interview and presentation, the employees assigned to me gave feedback which I can now take away for the future.
I already knew I wanted to work in tech before I took part in MyExperience@ Intercity Technology, but I still learned a lot personally from the experience. I gained confidence as I progressed, culminating in the final presentation and interview. When I received my feedback, it was good to know that it wasn't a total disaster! This whole experience has boosted my confidence in my ability to not just present to a panel but also perform in a job interview environment and I can definitely use that in the future.
If you're a young person and you get the chance to take part in a MyExperience@ programme I would say: "Go for it!" The programme covered a great deal of ground with information about the technologies that Intercity uses on a daily basis paired with a substantial amount of advice related to careers.