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Teen Hannah gets to work at SELECT

School student Hannah Gunn has set her sights on a career in the RAF – so we equipped her with some of the skills she’ll need to be a high-flyer

Another high school pupil spent time at SELECT this summer as part of our ongoing commitment to fostering strong ties in the local community.

Organised through leading charity Career Ready, we welcomed student Hannah Gunn, 16, to complete a four-week paid internship as an office assistant at The Walled Garden.

The teenager, who attends Beeslack High School in nearby Penicuik, Midlothian, spent time in various different departments to help her gain valuable work skills and understand the work of SELECT more fully.

Hannah was trained up to complete tasks in departments including reception, Membership and Communications, Training, Benefits and Employment Affairs. She was also responsible for planning and executing two special projects – ‘taking over’ the main SELECT Twitter feed for a week, and designing and carrying out a staff survey to analyse career paths.

In addition, she went through a mock-up of the SELECT recruitment process at the beginning and end of her time in the office, which was designed to help her be more confident in future interview situations when she enters the world of work.

And at the end of her internship, Hannah, who was being mentored by Membership Representative Diane Hales, prepared and delivered a presentation to SELECT staff, outlining what she had learned and what she’d enjoyed the most during her time with us. Fiona Harper, head of Employment Affairs at SELECT, said: “After our first Career Ready cohort last year, this has been another extremely positive experience for both SELECT and the young people we are supporting.

“Hannah applied herself with gusto and was an excellent addition to the SELECT team during her time here.

“She was very proactive and came up with some great ideas about the tasks she was given.

“Once again, I would recommend that companies get involved in Career Ready and would also urge more schools to encourage their pupils to participate in the scheme.”

Career Ready runs a two-year mentoring programme focused on introducing high school students to the world of work, expanding their career horizons, building skills and increasing self-confidence. Each student is paired with a mentor in a local business who supports them through the programme. The students attend masterclasses, run by Career Ready during school hours, on topics such as personal branding, interview skills, and communication and networking. In the summer following the first year of the programme, the students attend a work placement at their mentor’s workplace, which allows them to put into practice what they’ve learned during the previous year.

Due to the excellent experience SELECT has had since 2017 with Career Ready, we have committed to continued participation in the programme, and are now looking to recruit two new mentors from within the SELECT staff.

Career Ready is keen to expand the work it does across Scotland, and will look to take on more mentors from new companies in the 2020-2022 cycle next year. Participation in the programme is rewarding, cements a business’s ties to the local community, and is a fantastic way to bring fresh ideas and new skills to your business.

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Hannah’s verdict on her time at SELECT

I was quite nervous about coming to SELECT as I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but I quickly settled in as everyone was very welcoming. I was always kept busy, with tasks ranging from looking through course evaluation sheets for Training to marking assessments for Employment Affairs.

I really enjoyed working with the Finance team and doing jobs such as reconciling the petty cash and inputting the information into the petty cash journal.

My SELECT experience has not only given me confidence in the workplace but has also improved my confidence in general – whether it’s talking to new people or believing in myself. It has also helped me with skills like organisation and initiative.

Before coming to SELECT I wanted to join the RAF and although my time here hasn’t completely changed my mind, it has made me realise that I have other options and I don’t just have to stick with going down one career path.

I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy my time here as I didn’t have my mind set on working in an office, however it’s safe to say that I really enjoyed it, I loved meeting new people and I certainly learned a lot.

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