World of Work comes to Jog in biggest Work Experience Festival Yet!

World of Work comes to Jog in biggest Work Experience Festival Yet!

The near-future world of employment came to John O’Gaunt School recently, in its biggest, two-day Work Experience Festival, yet.

Year 10 students took part in an immersive experience that included a Dragon’s Den style task and ‘Guess my Job’ reverse interviews before applying for jobs and attending mock interviews – all with business leaders and employers that had volunteered their time.

The Festival began with talks from the Education Business Partnership on health and safety in the workplace, employer expectations and interview techniques. Volunteers from a variety of careers and industry, including STEM ambassadors, finance, education charities, Vodafone, a business consultancy firm and an HR manager, got stuck into a carousel of ‘real-life’ activities for the students. Some of the staff were even former John O’Gaunt students!

Students applied for a list of available mock-jobs, writing a covering letter and CV. A record twenty-one interview stations were then set up in the large Library space, with each employer interviewing around 3 students each for half an hour. At lunchtime, along with students from other years, there was the opportunity to chat more informally to the interviewers, ask questions and quiz them about their own work journeys.

The Dragon’s Den-style task invited teams of students to imagine working for different departments in a hotel. They had to come together to create a new, Disney-themed Crazy Golf course. Each group had to prepare a range of designs for a presentation board – considering costs, materials, sustainability and accessibility – design advertising, and create 3D prototype Crazy Golf holes using materials supplied. The ‘Dragons’ were encouraged to play them with a real club and ball, as part of each group’s presentation.

Organisers and Heads of Careers, Ms Rhiannon Melvin-Chick and Ms Debi Arden-Hunt said the turnout of employers and volunteers had been really generous, and that their time had been very much appreciated by all.

Comments from both employers and students were enthusiastically alike, with the former saying how impressed they were with so many students and how much they had enjoyed meeting and supporting them, and building their confidence – one said, ‘it was great to show them that we’re real people too – we also get nervous, but there are tricks and tips to help with that!’ Another said it was wonderful ‘watching the lightbulb come on when students realised things they ‘just did’ in or outside of school were really interesting and unique ways of presenting themselves, and could make them really stand out.’ The students agreed this was an enjoyable experience and that once they got talking, their ‘nerves melted away’ and they found presenting and being interviewed enjoyable. Ella (15) said “It was a very memorable experience and I know will be helpful to me later on.”

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