Category Archives: 2014

My CEIL Experience

Daniel Skelson
In the Enrichment Fair in Year 12, I was persuaded to do the CEIL as I thought I might gain something out of my enrichment time as it was only two hours a week. At this point I had no idea what I was going to gain, because the talk had stated that I would gain employability skills but didn’t mention what. So I joined with an open mind and hoped that it would be a good decision.
Originally I thought this isn’t too bad, all we had to do was little tasks here and there and write up certain things about ourselves. After a few weeks I was put with a project, which researched and then synopsized documents on employability in young people. This project had the aim of helping to open up other CEIL-like institutes around the country. The first meeting with the team went well, and over time I steadily realised that I just couldn’t do it, I was hopeless at synopsizing. The person who ran the project thought that I was just incapable of doing it correctly, and at this point I didn’t want to continue with this project.
Luckily a new project was started up and I was passed onto this project as the CEIL knew that the first project didn’t exactly go smoothly. This project looked at schools and how they helped students become more employable. This could be either work experience or talks on careers advice and similar based workshops. The person who was in leading the project I knew very well this made me instantly feel comfortable about joining this project. After some talks explaining the project I was shown the Excel Document that showed all of the data. I instantly started asking questions about how it could be improved and in the end she passed me the File and said ‘Improve it’. So I went away and improved the Document which is still used now.
The CEIL had an opportunity project which is the Young Researchers Project. They suggested that I join this as it would be good for me and help me improve on certain points which the other two projects hadn’t. I applied for it, had the interview and was placed as a member of the project. Young Researchers is a group that every year, look into certain aspects of life in young people, for example this year it is Retention of Year 12 Students and Emotional Well-Being. We are given certain points on what the Council would like us to research into and then we think up questions, send out surveys and then review the data collected. This project is really good as it means you meet loads of brand new people across Dorset and that you help expand Dorset’s Research Data meaning that we know what affects our Young People, so we can help support them.
I found that this project used skills from the other two projects meaning that even though they didn’t go as well, they still were helpful when applied to this project. It is almost like Building Blocks, once you have got that Block you never lose it and it lets you reach higher places as you can use what you learnt again and again for different tasks or jobs helping you in future employment and life. The CEIL has shown to me that not everything goes according to plan but if you work hard, seek out those opportunities and learn those skills you can really help yourself and just become an overall more skilled and better person.

My Scholarship Experience

Abigail Brewster
Before earning a scholarship, I had to be given a panel interview. This improved my confidence and my communication skills, as I had to prove to them that choosing me would be the best possible choice. I had to think on my feet when I was asked a difficult question, so I improved my ability to think on the spot.
When I got to Weatherbury Veterinary Practice, I got to see a completely different side of Veterinary treatments: homeopathy. This has made me interested in learning more at university. Working with a vet with an MBE for her homeopathy treatments and dedication inspired me to work hard whilst I was there and absorb as much information as I could. She treated her veterinary nurses’ pets professionally throughout, and had good relationships with all of her clients and their pets.
I also got to see a veterinary nurse’s job first-hand, by observing operations, cleaning the equipment after surgeries, and help with the recuperation of the patients, such as the Labrador who was accidently hit by her owners. Seeing her recover gave me such a rush knowing that I had helped her, giving me the epiphany that I wanted to be a veterinary nurse all along, instead of a vet. Since then, I have applied for four veterinary nursing university courses, and I look forward to training to become a veterinary nurse when I am accepted into one of these courses.
In the CEIL, I am in charge of the school shop, known as the Kiosk. My organisation skills helped me get tasks done quickly and efficiently, and my communication and listening skills came in handy when speaking to clients on the phone or in person, if the vet and the nurses were preoccupied, such as during operations. I also got to use my patience a lot whilst I was there; the most memorable example of this was when I chased a flock of sheep that had escaped from their field. I had to herd them back in whilst running through stinging nettles in quarter-length running trousers.
When I completed my scholarship placement, I was informed by the staff on my final day that, if I were to need any more work experience in the future, they would happily take me on again. This will be extremely helpful for me, as I loved working there, as it gave me a glimpse of my future in veterinary nursing, which I am extremely looking forward to. It also showed me how we all had formed such a close friendship, as I was extremely sad to leave and go back to sixth form. That close-knit, second-family feel the surgery had made me want to run a similar practice when I am working as a veterinary nurse, as I have always wanted to own my own practice.
By being in charge of the kiosk, many of the skills I need to use regularly link to my scholarship; I got to use my communication skills when talking to clients, I had to work as part of a team, I got to show my reliability by turning up at the same time every day, and I got to show my organisation skills when it came to cleaning up all the cages in the most efficient way. I also got to see what a real business is like, and what is needed to keep a business working harmoniously and profitably, which I will need to do when I own my very own practice.

My Time in CEIL

Matt Baghurst
When I first found out about the opportunities the CEIL provided, I realised that through enrichment I could do something that would really benefit me and prepare for life after leaving this school, which was soon approaching. In October 2013, I joined the CEIL and was told to settle in and look around, and I was amazed by the facilities, as I had only been up here once for a tour that was cut short due to a busy schedule. I was told I could study up here, and that I would be given the opportunity to become an intern if I wanted to do this for enrichment. At first I was a little hesitant as I had just started my courses and was having difficulty adjusting to them, but I decided I would, as I knew that this internship would develop me, not just as student, but as person, because I would be given a lot of independence and would also have to work on my weaker skills, especially my laid back attitude and confidence. This internship would mean becoming a better leader, and telling people to do things, which I usually didn’t like to do.
During the first few weeks of my internship I got used to the place and being here an hour a week, as well as studying hard on my new subjects. I was then told I was due a 1:1 with the Centres director, Marcel Ciantar. He had been studying my personality to find my strong and weak points, such as my lack of confidence when speaking to people I didn’t know and how, although I was enthusiastic about the CEIL, I didn’t look like it. Hence, Marcel put me in situations where I had to be confident and look happy and charming, such as working with a stranger to make presentations with future sixth formers, describing what the CEIL’s main aim was: To prepare students for leaving school so that they can be picked for the jobs they apply for by making them as professional as possible. We had to give 6 presentations and make a power point whilst using an interactive display and involving the groups we were talking to. At first I was nervous and dreading it, but towards the end I felt a lot more relaxed and comfortable with presenting in front of people I barely knew. This was an important moment for me, and made me realise that within a month of joining the CEIL I was becoming a different person, but most importantly I was becoming an opportunity seeker.
A few weeks later I participated in the sixth form open evening, as I knew this would increase my confidence even further, and also help me with speaking to older people and conversing without it being awkward. I was to be at the college at 6, then take tour groups up to the CEIL, not just to show them the area, but to show all the area’s leading up to it as well, like the resources area and study rooms. I answered any questions the students or parents wanted to ask, and was very polite, so I felt that my people skills improved a lot more because of this experience as I was dealing with different types of people.
After this I was offered a place in the Centre of Excellence Ambassadors, whose job it was to advertise the CEIL to non-interns, which would hopefully lead to more people realising the opportunities the Centre of Excellence provides, as well as giving me experience in event planning and hosting, as well as using media to interest people. I joined the already active group in a meeting, at was introduced to all the people in it and started thinking of possibilities. After planning it out, we decided to host a quiz in the costa café. We talked to the principal of sixth form and head of enrichment to find a date when we could do it, and talked to the operation managers about funding, and then we held the event, providing food and prizes from the funding we were provided. People turned up in groups and the event was a success.
After this exams started, and once they had finished, members left sixth form as they were about to start university, so I became a lead figure of the CEA, and still working with the members who were staying for another year, we began planning out the next year of school, and when would have meetings and some initial ideas of events.
Overall, the Centre of Excellence in Industrial Liaison has helped my CV grow as well as my personality, and has allowed me to mature and talk seriously to people who have never met before, preparing me for life after school, whilst making me more likely to get the job I aspire to have.

New Found Strength

Anisa Uddin
When I first started CEIL, I was shy, lacked confidence and so presented myself in a way that seemed unwilling, opted out of opportunities and was unable to talk to new people. That was a year ago, and now I can say that I’m not so shy. I am able to present myself in a professional ‘can-do’ attitude manner, say yes to opportunities and can talk to new people without stumbling over my words.

One suggestion that was made to me was to join the CEA – CEIL Ambassadors, who co-ordinate the CEIL events. I have to admit; the first meeting I attended I was a bit overwhelmed over the fact that everyone had something to say. And that they were focused. This was because any meeting I had been to before, it was unprepared and ‘made up as they went along’. This experience was different, it was professional. From being with the CEA I have discovered a new skill. As Marcel puts it, ‘acting as glue in a team’ – managing the process of putting ideas together and reaching a practical plan. This new found strength will really help me in my C.V, UCAS personal statement or during an interview. It’s something I can talk about that is related to my chosen career path as my unique selling point. And that is what the CEIL does for you, it helps you discover skills you’ve already got and ‘fine-tune’ it.

My 9 months as an Intern

Conor Millard
After being an associate intern at the CEIL for 9 months I feel it has helped me develop not only my employment skills but my general social abilities as well. Not only did it provide a great working atmosphere, it gave me a drive and an aspiration to excel in my weaker attributes as an employee and person, limitations that I would not even of identified had I not come up stairs and discussed them with Marcel. From building on my limitations in the CEIL I have learnt many professional lessons. I’ve learnt how to affectively lead a group by being established as the head of finance in the school Kiosk, I’ve learnt how to confidently speak to strangers in a professional way through helping show other schools around the centre and that hard work pays off. I say this as it has influenced my work attitude outside of school, I can clearly see my increase in dedication and confidence in what I’m doing and I’m glad to say so could my boss.
This just goes to show what the centre can do for you in the world of work, how it can help you in not just applying or obtaining a career, but how it can heighten the rest of your working life. It gets you noticed, it gets you dedicated and I know that when I leave I will be leaving with the qualification and experience I need to obtain the job I set my mind to.

Thinking on my Feet

Abbie Jolliffe
When I first started the CEIL at the beginning of year 12, I was fairly shy and lacked confidence in the ability to talk to new people and trying to hold a conversation with them. In my first 1:1 with Marcel in November, he identified that this was one of my weaknesses and set my first task; talking to new people in the sixth form to try and encourage them to come up and try the CEIL. This task didn’t go as well as I would have hoped, as I only managed to convince one person to try the CEIL. However, another opportunity to help out on the sixth form open evening proved to be very helpful as I had to not only give a tour of the school to potential students and their parents, I also had to talk to parents and students about the A level P.E course. This opportunity encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and was a perfect opportunity to practise thinking on my feet.
In my next 1:1 Marcel set a new task; to plan and develop a tour of the CEIL. This project was much more successful than my previous one. In this project, I had to give tours to other members of the CEIL, who also gave me ideas in how to further improve my tour. As a result, I was asked to help give a tour with fellow interns to the Pearson judges. This was a very good experience as I had to work with fellow interns to make sure we all had equal roles within the tour and no one particular person was leading the whole tour. I also got involved in holding conversations with the judges, which encouraged me to think on my feet.
As I work part time in a café the summer, I need to be fairly confident in speaking to customers, as some can be quite difficult and rude at times. I believe that the work I have done with the CEIL Team in my first year of being an intern has really helped me to grow in confidence and improved my ability to think on my feet, especially in difficult situations.

CEIL Opportunities

Anisa Uddin
I joined CEIL after helping out on an achievement show teacher training day. Marcel was doing a talk in the room I was in and convinced me to at least come up and have a look around. The reason to why I joined is because I knew that I needed help in understanding the ‘world of work’. Not only that but, in a sense, help in understanding myself. What skills I required to go into the career that I want to and how to achieve them. Marcel had put me through a ‘shy-buster programme’ that put me in situations that I wouldn’t normally be in and bursting me out of my bubble. Situations such as attending a Pearson Event where I spoke to guests about the CEIL. I now feel that I am more confident in talking to new people and I’m not so awkward around them. The CEIL has had a great impact on my life, any Intern would tell you the same. You go in with possibly no knowledge of a business environment and come out with a professional mind-set. They train you with what employers are looking for, giving you an advantage over the rest. Each intern is set a project that helps them in developing their skills. Your time at the CEIL is solely based on helping you.

Looking back, listen up!

Charlotte Cranny-Evens
I am so glad now that I joined the CEIL as it taught me how to utilise my time and the opportunities that are offered to me. Although my journey was tough and there were times where I wanted to kill a certain member of the CEIL staff, I feel it has been worth it as I have now chosen a career so can focus my time and energy on working towards my career in Public Relations.
The best thing I got from the CEIL was how it prepared me to compete and achieve a scholarship offer from the Sir Samuel Mico Trust. I worked in the PR and Press Office of Bournemouth University and gained some invaluable experience whilst being paid which was fantastic. The scholarship has taught me that this is definitely something I would like to do for a career and started the foundations of experience for when I start my degree.
The CEIL also gave me an insight into how the working environment of an office works so I was able to easily adapt to my work placement as well as any future work I find working in an office. The professional skills I gained were totally worth the time and effort I put into my membership in the CEIL and I’m so glad that I completed two years here as they have already been so beneficial to me despite the fact I only left four months ago!

My journey with the CEIL

Bekah Roberts
I’ve been with the CEIL since January 2013, and I have noticed so much change in me! I joined last year shortly before the interviews for the Sir Samuel Mico scholarship. Sadly, however, I was unsuccessful in getting the scholarship due to the fact I panicked, then cried in front of the interviewers and was unable to finish the interview. I think it’s fair to say that “unprepared” is an understatement.
I kept my place in the CEIL and I decided that I had to work on my confidence so I could apply this year and hopefully be much more successful. With the help of Marcel and the various projects he’s had me do, I feel a lot more confident around new people and larger groups. I’m able to answer the phone in a much more confident and professional manner, I can give tours around the CEIL and tell them about the benefits I feel and I am able to meet and greet guests at the office and show them up to the CEIL. My eye contact has improved dramatically and I’m much more confident all round.
I re-enrolled for the CEIL this year because I feel like without the help from Marcel, Lynn and Penny I wouldn’t be as confident as I am now, and without that confidence I would bother reapplying for the scholarship, despite how important it is for me to get it.
I’m currently helping Lynn with the running of the Kiosk meetings after school on a Tuesday to help me to bring out the side of me that has control over the situation, without being rude. With this skill, I will be able to have more control and confidence in the interview instead of panicking.
At the end of this year, I hope to be a much more employable person, with the type of professionalism and confidence they look for in their candidates. It’ll be tough, but I am more than happy to work for it because I know just how important it is.

My Last Blog and VIVA by Alana Finn

Alana Finn
Throughout my two years at CEIL, I’ve been a part of the CEIL Social Media team- in order to battle my objective. My main weaknesses were that I lack confidence in myself and that I was shy around people and often wouldn’t talk to anyone. From everything I’ve done in CEIL, I feel as if I’ve overcome these.
Because of my weaknesses I had trouble talking to people and I slowly overcame these. Saying it was hard is an understatement; I couldn’t talk to groups of 4 to 5 but I couldn’t really talk 1 to 1. It was difficult but with the help of the team, I began talking visitors on tours. Sometimes it didn’t go well and I felt many time I could have left but I wanted to get better. I wanted defeat my demons.
However, some opportunities such as the SLT talk didn’t go as I wanted because I wasn’t organised enough, allowing me to learn that I need to prepare. Even though something’s don’t go as planned I know that I can learn and develop from mistakes, using them as influence for future opportunities. And I can always do better next time.
Recently I’ve attended interviews for university, and although I was nervous I managed to impress them enough to get conditional offers.
As I’ve improved my confidence, I found it easier to get new opportunities that allow me to develop my skills. Some on these have also helped me with my schoolwork, so I’ll be one step ahead in university. Although I still have some trouble with confidence, I’ve got better and feel like I can do the best I can.
The CEIL blog also allowed me to develop my communication skills as I had to arrange meetings with our professional blogger and interns, then checking back with the CEIL to see if the space and laptops would be free. I feel that becoming the social media team’s leader in my second year as it helped me understand that I do have skills that are desired able for leadership. I used these skills when our art class began the set up for the exhibition.
I would often use my Centre Management time to organise, write blogs and post them. Therefore I was able to use my time effectively. Doing simple tasks that all interns do, such as answering the phone, as helped me with my confidence.
I wish that I’d learnt to take every opportunity when I can. I didn’t apply for a scholarship and really feel that I should have but the idea that I would fail held me back.
I am so grateful for everything CEIL has offered me and wish I could do it all again- even the low points.