Past pupils return to Pool Academy to talk about work experience

Two past pupils from Pool Academy returned to school to talk to youngsters about work experience.

Lauren Strickland, 19, and Michael Wong, 20, spoke to Year 9 during their assembly recently to illustrate the importance of choosing good placements.

Becki White, from Future First, also visited with a presentation full of tips on how to be successful while out in the professional world.

She told students work experience was important for CV building, creating motivation and helping identify skills for the future.

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Michael left Pool Academy in 2013 and is about to begin working in Structural Engineering with Network Rail in Milton Keynes.  He said his work experience choice, the soft play centre Bombadingas, helped him to rule out certain future career options.

He said: “I learnt I didn’t want to work with children. I learnt I wanted to work with professional people.

“Work experience gave me the confidence to talk to people and to walk into an interview.”

Lauren, who is at Plymouth University studying Early Childhood Education for three to eight year olds, has taken part in a number of work experience placements including a hospital, a primary school and a nursery. She realised she enjoyed working with children.

She said: “I enjoyed work experience in Year 10. It was the first time I was involved with work.

“Even though I enjoyed the independence it was still very challenging. Communicating with other people was challenging because I went from being a student myself to talking to parents and teachers in a professional way.”

Becki said whichever placement students choose to go on they will learn skills which could be transferred to a variety of different careers.

Ms Grenfell, Career Advisor at Pool Academy, invited students to think about work experience and start to get places organised for the June week.

She said: “This is your opportunity to do something you want to do.”

Michael and Lauren said they were pleased to have been invited back to school to talk to students.

Michael said: “It was nice to be invited back to Pool Academy to help inspire students sitting where we used to sit.”

Lauren said: “It was weird coming back to school. The last time I was here I was sitting a geography exam. I love this school. I was here for five years. I just wanted to help the students.”