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.
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.