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DfT: Back to school (voluntarily)

Category: Blogger's Corner, career, marketing, volunteer, DVLA, computeer, memories

DfT: Back to school (voluntarily)

In early October a group of us apprentices decided to volunteer at a school to support their career workshop.

Given most of us recently just came out of school, the last thing we were expecting was to end up back at school. But, these year 11 students needed to be inspired about the possible opportunities that await them. Who better than to hear from than us?

We helped the year 11 students to fill in 159 questions to find where the computer thinks their career paths lie. 159 questions!

Shuffling through the questions, students were surprised by the career choices picked out for them. One particular student had aspirations to be a doctor but the computer said NO! Instead it identified a career in marketing. I guess it goes to show that skills can be transferable.

Not a Bake Off fan!

Another student was disappointed when they got the result of a baker – clearly not a Great British Bake Off or Mary Berry fan. Although, he did explain he was clicking randomly at the answers. I’m sure that if there were fewer questions, he would’ve got to his desired career – architecture.

I told the students that people change their career 5 to 7 times in their life time. I changed my plans 4 times before becoming a civil servant - I’m sure I’m not alone.

Following this, we had to help students write their first CV. Ahhh… the memories of writing my first CV to earn more money on top of my pocket money. Through this exercise, the students were starting to realise how important qualifications and activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh award are.

Having a strong CV could be the difference between a ‘thank you for applying’ or ‘invite for interview’ email.

Lessons learned from Madame Tussaud

The day ended with us running mock interviews. I never thought I would be on the other side of the table, I’m always the interviewee never the interviewer!

I thought about the more enjoyable interview that I had at Madame Tussauds and threw fun questions at them that were used at my interview.

One of the questions I asked was which celebrity they most identified with. Most students did the typical thing of saying how much they look like a certain celebrity or how they are a die-hard Bieber fan. As amusing as this was, I was able to show them how they can use a question like this to showcase their skills.

Image of an apprentice running a mock interview

I told the students to look at qualities and skills they possess that are similar to their celebrities, and give real life example of how they have used the same qualities and skills. I gave them an example and said I most identify with Oprah Winfrey because she’s confident, a great communicator and sociable like me.

Overall, it was a great experience for all of us apprentices and I look forward to our next volunteering experience at a nearby school.

Are you interested in a career with Department for Transport? Please click here!

VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email [email protected] for more information.

We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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