CAREERS: Amy benefits from innovative new virtual work experience

Sixth former AMY WILSON reports on an innovative new virtual work experience programme which helped her pick up valuable new skills – while finding out more about how science and technology can help make the world a better place

MY virtual work experience programme with the global science and technology company Johnson Matthey was organised through the charity Speakers for Schools.

With the aim of helping to make the world a cleaner and healthier place, the 100 students on the programme learnt more about how to help protect people and the planet through innovative science and technology solutions.

We were split into groups and assigned a task; cleaning up our air, making better use of resources or keeping people safe and healthy.

I was assigned to the second and, along with seven others and a group leader, who works in catalyst shape and design, we had to come up with a proposal for a customer to turn household waste into jet fuel.

Throughout the week we worked to find ways of doing this and pick our chosen method, then present it to the customer (the group leader).

We had expertise sessions with different sectors in the company, as well as the chance to have a question and answer session with the Chief Executive Robert MacLeod and sessions on personal statements, CVs, interviews, and so much more.

I really enjoyed the work experience as I came to learn new skills such as leadership and helping everyone to have a say in the work, as well as important skills such as; communication, time management and decision making.

One of the best parts was really feeling like I was in the middle of it all, being able to ask questions and discuss ongoing projects at John Matthey, I found out that the company is currently turning household waste into jet fuel alongside BP (and other companies), and have won awards for the project.

I learnt that, whether they have a wide knowledge of chemistry or not, in a group everyone has their own skills and strengths that all combine together.

It was a fantastic experience that I would not have had if it wasn’t a virtual work experience and I would definitely consider working for Johnson Matthey at some point in the future.