Monthly Archives: March 2015

My Journey so far…

Georgia Corps
As a year 13 student I have made the mistake of joining the CEIL in this academic year. The whole of last year wasted and at what cost? I am now only starting to develop skills that I can put to full use in particular situations I will be faced with. I’ve been given an Intern Project that I can work on in my CM hours in the chosen hour a week. Leading up to my first 1:1 with Marcel I was just given task to make a start on a CV, I learnt also the importance of when leaving university you need to be able to stand out from the rest, show an employer why you are better from all other applicants.

I have been in the CEIL now for just over half a year and already I am confident with the types of proficiencies I am required to have and my strong and weak points picked up by marcel in the first 1:1 session I had with him on my sixth week of joining. He had told me I needed to become more focused and maintain attention on a given object independent on the surroundings. I was put on the Kiosk Team to achieve and complete a set of task in a busy and unorganized environment which required me to go to CEIL Tuesdays after school. I find this project very good for me as I have been put in control of stock check and organizing the kiosk, this has enabled me to improve my skills with management and organization, commitment is a large aspect throughout as I am putting my time aside into the Kiosk one lunchtime a week to make sure it is open and every Tuesday after school for an hour. Other than my Kiosk project I have now been put onto the CEIL’s tours team, I’ve only been a member for a couple of weeks now but I was partnered up and my task was to help create a script for a tour, the aim from this project is to allow me to be more confident in myself and when speaking to others in a professional manner.

Overall the CEIL has helped me work on and try to improve my personal skills, so when I am required to stage myself during an interview, for an example; I can show my dexterity and passion. It has helped me build my CV to a standard far better than before I had joined the beginning of this year.
Georgie Corps

How the CEIL has helped me

Georgie THOMAS
In September 2014 I joined the CEIL as an Associate Intern as part of my Enrichment. I heard about the CEIL when coming to Budmouth for the day before I officially joined the sixth form. At first I thought it was to mainly help build on your CV, but it was when I joined the programme in September that I found out it was much more than that. In the first 6 weeks, I realised that the CEIL tailors to the individual and each programme is unique to the individual. I was a shy, unconfident person who was only comfortable talking to people I am close to and who I know wouldn’t judge me wrong. Though I am still getting over confidence barriers, I can definitely see a change in me as a person. After the initial 6 week starter programme, I had my first 1:1 with Marcel and it hit home how nervous about these sorts of situations I got, and he could see that too. So he assigned me to the Tours team to help build on my confidence. Initially I thought that was a bad idea and though I haven’t given a solo tour myself yet, I am planning to by the end of March/early April which is something I never thought I would do. I have observed a tour given by a fellow Year 13 only last week and the guest wanted to sit us down and question us both. The minute I heard this I felt my stomach drop and the nerves kick in. As I slowly started talking about my aspirations for the future, I could feel myself settle down, and gain confidence. I maintained eye contact and become confident in the words I spoke. It is only when you’re put into these situations that you will ever be able to overcome something, and though at first I wanted to run away from it, I didn’t because I’m not a quitter. So though the programme may not be for everybody, it has helped me develop as a person and I think for those who are really looking to improve on a certain aspect of themselves, the CEIL can really help you achieve that.
Georgie Thomas


Matt Baghurst
It is important that I have a career or have a plan for what I want to do when I finish my A – levels. I could have chosen to go to university, but this was expensive and uninterested me, so I decided that I wanted to go down the apprenticeship route. A company called BAE systems offered higher apprenticeships, and worked for the Ministry of Defence, designing and manufacturing marine and air vehicles, and would also allow the apprentice to study a degree whilst being paid for working for the company, so I would be gaining money instead of losing money if I was an apprentice.
I completed an application form that asked questions about why I would like to work for BAE Systems, and also asked me to show evidence for certain skills, such as co-operation and handling unforeseen problems. The CEIL allowed me to gain experiences which could be used as evidence for this. Also, the application included education history and asked if the applicant had any computer skills.
After sending the application in November, I had to wait a month until they replied, saying that I had made it to the next process, and that if I was shortlisted, I would be notified. At the end of February I was then sent an email inviting me to an assessment centre in Farnham, in Surrey, for an interview, a group exercise and to give a presentation on a specific task that they would send in a few days’ time. Of course, by this time I had started to worry that I wouldn’t hear anything from this company again, so I was extremely excited to be invited to prove myself to the assessors.
I was invited to meet them at a hotel on Sunday 8th March, which the company paid for, and met with the other candidates (8 of us in total) as well at the assessors and apprenticeship organisers in the evening before the next day, when the assessment would actually happen. As I got to know them, they seemed to be very nice and I started to relax around them, and started having casual conversations with everyone. A lot of questions were answered about the apprenticeship, although I couldn’t find out what I would actually be doing due to the secrecy around MOD contracted companies.
The next day, we travelled to the assessment centre and started the day by doing the group exercise. We were given a scenario and in a group of 4, rank a group of items by number from 1 to 15 on how useful they would be to somebodies survival in the specific scenario. I expected to something physical for this part so I was a bit surprised, but also relieved because I knew I could demonstrate co-operation and also show that I wasn’t afraid to say what Is on my mind, as well as making sure everyone’s ideas were heard. This took about 30 minutes.
Next, I had to give my presentation, and this happened exactly as I expected it to. I had to create a presentation that stated the main challenges with underwater navigation in submarines, and also had to be around 15 minutes long. Once I gave the presentation, they asked me questions about how I found the information, and also some technical questions too. Due to me meeting everyone the previous day, I wasn’t nervous, which I found very helpful.
Finally, I was interviewed. This consisted of 4 questions, and took around about 30 minutes too, which was very different to how I imagined the interview to be like. I had prepared for a formal, hour long interview with many different questions practiced, but it turned out that this was quite informal, even though everyone was wearing suits. I was asked one technical question, one question about co-operating and working in a team, one question about adapting to changes to overcome a problem, and, of course, why I wanted to work with BAE Systems .I found that this interview went well, mainly because of how enthusiastic I am about working a company which uses such fascinating technology.
At the end of the assessment, all candidates were told that we would find out if we were to be given conditional offers or turned down in less than a week.
Overall, this has been a very good experience because I now know what assessors look for in group exercises and interviews, and I have also become more confident with meeting new people and presenting myself in a specific way.
Matt has now heard back from BAE, and has this to add:
BAE recently contacted me, offering me a conditional offer for the Combat Systems Higher Apprenticeship in Weymouth. I was told that I performed very well at the assessment centre, and that I would be starting September 7th.
Now I feel like I have a massive weight lifted off of my shoulders, as I have been offered a good paying job after I finish sixth form this year, and I can study to get a degree without paying university fee’s. Most importantly however is that I will be gaining experience, which is what I have wanted since I joined the CEIL at the end of 2013.
I do not believe that I would have got this apprenticeship without the CEIL, as it has prepared me for this moment since I started my internship through different opportunities and projects. The internship has made me more confident, through working with new people and doing tours on open evenings, and also allowed me to work more successfully in a group, solving problems more efficiently. This is what the assessors wanted to see, and without these skills, someone else would have been chosen for the job. The CEA allowed me to improve me cooperation skills, as well as giving me experience in working to a deadline, which is another thing that this job will involve.
The main point I would make is that you should apply as soon as possible. Don’t worry about how long it takes for the company to reply, because they will, eventually, and also, try and present yourself as someone who is enthusiastic about a job, because that is the type of person that they want working for them.
Matt Baghurst

An exchange student in the CEIL

Jason Nikolaus
I came from Germany to the UK in the end of September, for an exchange year here in the Budmouth College. In total I’ll have been staying here for 10 months.
As I came here the first day, the other exchange students encouraged me to go up to the CEIL. By that time I didn’t really know what the CEIL was and I thought it was just an area were one could study. But the CEIL staff and also the students introduced me quite quickly and the idea of the CEIL became more and more appealing to me. Within the first 6 weeks of preparation I realized how well the CEIL actually was. By analysing my soft skills, I recognised that the CEIL is all about my future, which made me even more happy. I had many worries about how the life after school would look like and I also worried about being inexperienced in a professional environment. The CEIL offered all this to me, which made me more relaxed. The fact that I haven’t got such an opportunity in Germany, makes me even more proud of being a member of the CEIL now.
After the 6 weeks of preparation, I finally had my one to one with Marcel. This conversation impressed me very much, because Marcel could really tell me, in which areas I had to improve. He also had a really good project for me which would make me work on my fear of criticism and also would give me experience in the areas of profession I would like to go into. He decided to put me in the Marketing Team. By the time of my second one to one he even made me the “Operation Manager”. That meant that I had to be responsible for the time our group had to finish in. This responsibility helped me a lot as well, because there was more pressure on me, which I really needed to experience.
All in all I’m really happy that joined the CEIL. The experience I gained is just invaluable. I suggest every student and especially exchange student to join the CEIL. The things you learn here can definitely help you in your professional life!

What I Have Gained In CEIL

Hannah Roy
I became a CEIL intern in autumn 2013 when I was in year 12. One of the first opportunities that is available to new interns is to lead tours around the school site, including tours around the CEIL. This was the first opportunity that I took part in, and I have done 3 open evenings in my time in the CEIL. Doing these open evenings have helped me to improve my communication skills and helped me learn to think on my feet. You get asked a variety of questions from people who are pretty much strangers to you, yet you have to answer them with confidence and in a professional manner. Looking back on the open days afterwards, as an individual and with other tour leaders, is just as valuable as the experience itself because I was able to look at the weaknesses and think about how the tours could be improved. The next project I was involved in was the homework club. This was a club set up to help students struggling to hand their homework in. The students were often difficult and didn’t want to be there so it was often hard work and required a lot of perseverance. I was also involved in meetings with Ferndown school that were beginning to set up their own CEIL. In these meetings I had to talk about my personal experiences within the CEIL, specifically going into detail about 1:1s and how important they are in order for you to keep furthering your development. This was a valuable experience because it enabled me to look back over what I had done in the CEIL so I could look forward to what I wanted to do next. I would recommend this type of experience to other interns because it allows you to become part of the development of the CEIL. You also begin to form links with outside schools which may be beneficial to your own project later on.
My main project for my first year was to set up an Equine Focus Group. My target was to improve my self-belief and to start thinking more optimistically. Although I managed to get a few people interested in the group, I never managed to run an actual meeting. This was because there weren’t enough people interested in coming to the event. Looking back, I am able to see that I needed to be more forward in pressing people to come to the event instead of just waiting to see what happened after the initial invitation was sent. Even though the project wasn’t completed, I have learnt a lot from it. My communication skills have improved and I feel that I will be able to plan a project more effectively next time.
This year, I am a member of the Kiosk team as well as working on a research project and being a PIIP mentor. On the research team, we have to research all the schools in the country to see what work experience and careers resources they offer. On the kiosk team, I am part of the sixth form team that manage the operations of the shop. Being a PIIP mentor involves working with lower school students to help them overcome specific problems that hold them back. All these projects help me to develop a range of skills and also help me to see the bigger picture when working on small parts of the project, which was one of my main problems. I want to try and be part of as many opportunities within the CEIL to help towards my accreditation. Through my CEIL projects, I have gained the skills and experience I will need to stand out to future employers.

What CEIL has taught me

Harry Petersen
This question isn’t as simple as to list multiple characteristics and traits; it goes a lot further than that. First of all, I find it more relevant to talk about my experiences within the CEIL to give you a greater understanding of the setting.
When I started my six week initiation I was somewhat sceptical about the project. 6 hours of work spread over 6 weeks, with a 1:1 at the end to monitor the progress. It seemed very simple and straight forward; this gave me reason to believe it was too good to be true. But being a new student I have tasked myself with grasping every opportunity either within reaching distance or even in scope of my interest s.
Signed up and raring to go, I was handed my first assignment. Two articles which I had to sum up and relate to student life. We were not told how much to do or what direction to start in, which troubled me as I work well with direction but struggle without. If I understand the challenges, goals and result then I will be more than willing to work, this can benefit just as much as it hinders my ability. I decided to go for the lengthy approach and written about 2 pages overall. I am believed that more work is better than no work at all.
The next tasks were more self-examination. Evaluating our own specific strengths and weaknesses, I admit it began to slow down, along with it my momentum. Lucky I have a good persistence and can’t leave something I started without finishing it. Staying with the CEIL was one of the best choices I have ever made in my young adult life.
As the six weeks came to a close, my 1:1 with Marcel grew ever closer. I thrive in these situations, having the chance to talk about you, not just positively but critically as well. The bottom line of my meeting gave me a vague allocation of what I need to invest my time into. A way to help strengthen this weakness was by placing me on the Social Media team.
I could now list 4 things that CEIL has ‘taught’ me, but I don’t believe that is truly all I have taken away. Students from past generations have attached a social stigma to education, giving it a more feminine aroma (Government statistics back this up with the Boy v Girl success rate). Boys who do well are usually belittled and labelled; this was something I had become accustom too. Although I had entered the CEIL motivated and driven, I continue there with understanding of my mistakes. I can understand my weaknesses and capitalise on my strengths, I now see the bigger picture. To analogise this, I haven’t just changed my hair cut; I have grown a new pair of legs!
Thank you for reading,

My journey so far

Rhian Stroud
I joined the CEIL in September and so far I think that I am improving on not only myself as a person but on myself for the employment world. I joined the CEIL because I thought that I wasn’t confident enough to go for the jobs that I wanted and I wasn’t pushy enough to get through the process. That was something that I really had to work on and I am still working on it now. I also joined because there is always something that you can improve on yourself even if it is something little.
Since joining the CEIL, I have mostly focussed on my confidence and speaking out my ideas. By being part of the CEA and organising our own event, I have managed to have more confidence to talk about people’s ideas and talk about my own idea’s. My organisation skills came in handy during this period of time. Our job at the moment is to try and get more people to join the CEIL. Another thing that I felt I had to focus on was my research skills. My research skills are not that bad but I really hated sitting down and actually doing the research part of it. I am a very active person who likes to be creative and move about so not being able to do that is tricky. Becoming part of the research team, this helped my urge of getting up and moving about. I can now sit down at a desk and work confidently through case studies. I seemed to lose focus quite quickly when I was working so being able to stick to the same thing for a whole half an hour was good.
The characteristic that was pointed out to me from the start, was that I was a ‘daddy’s girl’. I feel that I have pushed past that characteristic and defeated it. I used to ask a lot of questions which is sometimes a good thing but when these questions aren’t necessary then it starts to become a problem. Having to be independent was the hardest thing for me and it always has been. I have always had someone by my side telling me what to do. Being in the CEA and the research team has really pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me become more independent. I will always have that part of me but it now doesn’t dominate my personality.
I have really enjoyed working with these two different teams. They are so different but so alike in the same way. I think I have really improved since being up at the CEIL and I am really enjoying the experience that I am having. I would encourage as many people as possible to at least try out the program. The CEIL might not seem right for everyone but it’s worth a try. I can say now that I am so glad that I walked up the stairs and joined because it has changed my perspective on everything.