Eight students from the Urban Synergy Career Jumpstart Programme attended a four-day pilot work experience placement in October half term at BP in Canada Square, Canary Wharf.
The placements ran for four days, culminating in a presentation by the students of what they had learnt during their time at the Oil and Gas giant.
The students first day consisted of an introduction to the business followed by an ice-breaker game and afternoon sessions of mock interviews and presentation and negotiation skills.
The last session was an ’Introduction to work shadowing and what to expect’ hosted by Paul Lawrence of the Life Skills Consultancy which offers coaching and training services. The workshop took the students through workplace etiquette, social media use, dress, team working, timekeeping and soft skills including the all important tea and coffee making!
For the next two days students were put together with staff members for the work shadowing in departments including finance, law and accounting. They were able to understand how the business works across the various departments which at the same time enabled the students to experience different sides of the business and get a feel of what they might like to do if a future career at BP beckoned.
Following a CV skills workshop the students gave their presentations to a room attended by BP staff who participated in the work shadowing and other senior staff members, Nicholas Langham, Head Teacher of Conisborough College, who had three students on the placement and Urban Synergy staff.
Feedback was given by the staff who worked closely with the students and got to know them well during the time spent with them, sharing detailed aspects of their jobs.
The pilot programme is hopefully the first of a continuing relationship with BP and Urban Synergy to bring more young people from schools in South London to experience the corporate working environment and gain all important work experience sooner rather than later.
Our thanks to BP for their support in making the placements possible.
I enjoyed the experience of working in a team and to see how real work life is like. The experience also gave me ideas for other opportunities because people who work with BP have other links which would be helpful and valuable to me. – Jocelyn 16 yrs
I am now going to try to find as much work experience as I can in the sector I want to go into so that I have the edge against others applying for the same job. – Rufai, 16 yrs