From the early years of my secondary school experience, I have always expressed an interest in Business. When it became possible to take business studies for GCSE’s, I jumped at the opportunity. However, when I first started learning, it felt as though I was being taught a foreign language. This in hindsight was to be expected as there were scarce opportunities prior in which I would have been exposed to the terminology and logistics of what I was being taught in school. This made for a difficult and challenging start to the subject. When reflecting on how I could enhance my learning, I thought about work experience. This would be a brilliant opportunity for me to see firsthand how what I was learning, was put into practise.
I started working at Boston the summer of 2020 at 15 years old. To finally have the structure of a workday was refreshing after the long lockdown. Trying to learn in lockdown was difficult and I believe it hindered a lot of my progress across all subjects. Knowing this, I was determined to learn as much as possible in the time I had at Boston. On my first day, Sarah Ingrassia sat me down to explain what a Corporate Service Provider was and what services it offered. After an hour of learning and asking questions, the pieces of the puzzle finally came together. This further enhanced my prior knowledge about ‘companies’ and taught me a new concept about their uses, as in school they were described as ‘engines to make money’. Small examples such as this is what transformed my learning and helped me to be able to adapt my knowledge from theoretical to practical functions.
Over the summer I mostly got to know the processes and documents involved in the running of Trusts and Companies. It was really helpful to know what all the documentation looked like and to be exposed to the business jargon. I was greeted by the wonderful admin team who were always enthusiastic to help and answer any questions I had. By the end of the summer, I felt as though I was able to work more independently and had been able to help other teams around the office which I was very proud of. I believe the experience also helped my social skills and I was able to walk away with the ability to talk to anyone, even with little common ground. This led to a boost of confidence in talking to adults that not all children at that age had. This put me in a more competitive position in areas like public speaking and making my thoughts and ideas heard in group projects.
This has also been an eye-opening experience for seeing what life is like working in an office. The days are longer than a school day which initially took some time to get used to. It was also beneficial to learn how to dress and act appropriately to appear in a professional manor. This made the bridge between GCSE years and sixth form easier as I was used to having to take responsibility for my work and ask for the necessary guidance.
I have returned to Boston every summer since and have been given an increase of responsibility and independence each time, which was a big motivating factor for my return each year. I have also been able to witness the impact that my work experience has had on my in-school learning which has been invaluable and put me in an envious position at the end of my school career. As I leave the island to start university, I have confidence that what I have learnt at my time at Boston will stay with me and continue to benefit me as I move to my next endeavour.