Hello! My name is Bonnie, I am 16 years old and I have been doing a 4-week internship with YouthLink Scotland. I got the opportunity to take part in this internship through the Career Ready programme.
Career Ready is the national social mobility charity at the heart of a network of employers and educators who all believe that every young person, regardless of their background, deserves the opportunity to kick-start a rewarding future. Career Ready works by pairing a young person with a mentor. The young person then gets the opportunity to take part in a paid internship through their mentor’s workplace and through this the young person builds relationships and networks with the different people that they meet.
Through my experience with Career Ready, I was paired with my mentor Amy, who works at YouthLink Scotland. I couldn’t have asked for a better pairing or mentor. Amy and I met for the first time at the career ready launch event where other mentees were meeting their mentors too and I instantly knew that we’d get along – which I couldn’t have been more correct about.
After the launch event a few weeks later Amy got the chance to meet my mum at my high school and we exchanged phone numbers to communicate regularly with. Then, as part of the Career Ready programme, it was up to myself and Amy to arrange monthly meetings in preparation of my internship. But, the months flew by and next thing I know I’m at an office desk in the final week of my internship.
Here is me giving my research presentation to YouthLink Scotland!
My internship has been one of the best experiences. Everyday has been different for me at YouthLink Scotland. Some days I would be working with Amy on my research project (which I will talk about later), other days I would get the opportunity to work with different members of staff from different teams, and other days Amy and I would go on day trips – Dundee, Stirling University, Scottish Parliament and Edinburgh Napier University. I can’t thank Amy and the YouthLink Scotland team enough for making me feel so welcomed and supported and for the many members of staff who gave up some of their time to teach me about their roles in YouthLink Scotland.
As part of the Career Ready programme, each intern is asked to put together a short presentation, which they can present at some point during their internship. And so, for my presentation, I decided to put together a research project on young people’s engagement with youth work, in which my findings would benefit the YouthLink Scotland team. After completing my research project, I got the opportunity to present my presentation to the YouthLink Scotland’s staff meeting, and again, cannot thank the YouthLink Scotland team for being so supportive off me and giving me their time to share my project.
If you would like to watch my Research Project, check out the video here!
This is me and my mentor Amy at the Scottish Parliament.
Overall, I have developed and strengthened so many of my own skills throughout my time here at YouthLink Scotland. The one skill that I have seen the biggest improvement in though is my confidence. I would have never have thought a year ago that I would be able to enter a brand new environment (the workplace), to adapt so well (meet so many new people and take on new tasks), to build and complete my own project (my research project – on a topic I had no prior knowledge of) and to then present that project (in front of people I had only met a few weeks before).
This is me on my trip to Dundee!
I think (and really hope) that my experience with YouthLink Scotland sticks with me forever and that I am able to apply and adapt everything that I have learned to future tasks and challenges and that I can use the networks I have created with different members of staff in future.
I think however, the best part of my experience with the Career Ready programme was being mentored by Amy. Because, even though I am finishing up my internship, we still have the opportunity to meet up regularly and stay in touch – creating a friendship for life! So thank you Amy for making this experience so amazing! 🙂
Working in the YouthLink Scotland offices!