Should you be doing work experience in high school?

Lillian Haney

When learning about the work experience program at my school, I was initially not so sure about. Considering there is no designated time to do it (meaning you will be missing out on class time), and it is up to you to organise it all, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to participate in the program.

As a year group, we were all told that it would be beneficial to gain more information on what career we wanted to pursue. For those that had a pretty clear idea of where they were heading in the future, it would be a great experience for them. However, I didn’t have as clear of a vision and this only left me thinking; what if I get there and I don’t learn anything, what if I don’t like it, and on top of that I was going to have to go back to school and catch up on the work I missed out on.

On the recommendation of other people and against my hesitation I decided to look into what I could do for work experience. I found a place without too much trouble and I was set to go.

I’m now coming to the end of my week with Sterning HR and I’m feeling a little different to what I expected. Instead of feeling as if I wasted my time and set myself back on my studies, I’m sad the week is coming to an end and can’t wait for my next placement.

Little did I know, work experience isn’t just learning about one particular job, I have learnt much more beyond that. With my placement being in the HR sector, I have learnt about how a workplace functions, the different areas that HR covers and of course what the role of someone in HR is. But more importantly, I have learnt that you don’t have to stick to one career path and that sometimes it’s more beneficial and exciting to move around a bit. I have learnt that it’s okay to not know what you want to do and that you can try different things out before you decide what you like.

I surprised myself, work experience really is beneficial just not for the reasons I thought.


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