For more than 25 years, Carmel College has provided a 3-day Work Experience for Year 12 students. Coordinated by the Careers and Transition Departments, along with the Year 12 Dean, 140 students organise their placements in careers which interest them, throughout the North Shore community and even across the water in Auckland City.
For over 75% of the students the work experience is hugely beneficial. It gives the students an insight into the world of work. Employers often provide a variety of tasks so that students can fully appreciate the range and depth of what is required within that profession. Placements range across a wide range of career possibilities, including education, medicine, veterinary science, engineering, law, business and retail.
The outcome for students is usually one of two things: the work experience confirms the thoughts they already have about their future direction and leads them to explore it further, or it helps them realise they are not suited to that career and begin to investigate other alternatives. One Carmel College Old Girl had decided in Year 12 that she wanted to pursue a career in medicine, but her placement as an aide at Southern Cross hospital convinced her she did not really like being around sick people, so these days she is a very happy engineer! At a time when student loans for tertiary study can mount up very quickly, such information can prove invaluable.
Invaluable, too, are the links forged between the school and the wider community. Employers who generously accept a “newbie” for three days comment favourable on the enthusiasm of the students and the back-up provided by the school. As for the students – their comments speak for themselves:
“ Work Experience forces you to step outside your comfort zone, to interact with people that you do not know well.”
“ Work Experience enables you to get advice from your employers about other jobs and pathways you can take.”
“ Work Experience enables you to be able to respond to different situations and to be independent.”
“ Work experience is an excellent opportunity to provide insight to different career paths that you may be considering”
“ Work experience not only gives you confidence to talk to new people but also make new interpersonal relationships that are important for a future outside of school.”
“ I went into work experience not knowing what I wanted to do after school, now I am almost decided that I want to pursue a career in medicine”