Jacobs Student experience of a virtual work placement (by Mansi Patel, Year 11)
The lockdown did not deter me from aiming to learn new skills- in fact, it was because of the lockdown that I came across some virtual work experience offered by a company called Jacobs. It turned out that it was based around creating a virus research facility, and would involve creating my own layout of the facility, choosing a specific site, as well as much more. At first, I was unsure due to my belief that the areas required for the work experience (architecture, engineering, etc.) weren’t my cup of tea. However, in hindsight, I am glad I decided to take part as it enabled me to have an insight into some interesting potential career routes.
To begin with, the work experience helped me to see situations from a different perspective- during the course we encountered many experts in various fields, and we had Q&A sessions which cemented our knowledge and allowed us to ask each expert questions- this meant that we had the chance to hear their opinions and what they enjoy about their jobs, as well as what challenged them. Hearing about their individual projects reminded me of all the hard work that goes into constructing a building, or leading a team- things that we would habitually breeze over.
Another skill which was utilised continually was creativity - it enabled me to design an ideal layout for my facility, and after mulling over the brief provided, I found a design that fit all the requirements (problem-solving was also a key skill here!)- one of those requirements was to limit the possibility of contamination, and so we had to keep any offices away from the laboratories in the facility. Another problem-solving skill was when I had to excogitate a plan to discern the best site to build my facility on; keeping in mind any nearby residential and industrial areas, the total surrounding population, and other important factors.
Overall, this work experience was a great opportunity: I had to think unconventionally and it challenged me to see through someone else’s eyes - to see their problems and goals, and to execute ideas based on reasoning I would not have used in day-to-day life, and I am thankful for it.
To see this article in full, with accompanying imagery, see page 27 of the June edition of the Headteacher's Newsletter.