As STEM ambassadors for Wessex, Sophie and I attended a work preparation day at St Joseph’s Catholic School in Salisbury on Thursday 8 February.

Funded by the Education Endowment Fund, the aim of this pilot project was to evaluate the benefits of guided work experience for year 10 students, with the hope of rolling out similar work preparation days as part of the curriculum − should the event prove a success!

For many students, this was their first opportunity to work with an employer and navigate through the job application process; a vital skill required to enter the world of work.

A total of 8 STEM ambassadors from a wide range of companies attended the event, with two STEM ambassadors assigned to lead each class of 30 students. Sophie and I were assigned different classes to teach and carried out a series of hour-long activities over the course of the day. Topics included:

  • Transferrable skills;
  • How to complete an application form;
  • How to write a CV;
  • How to write a covering letter;
  • Interview techniques.

Utilising all they had learnt from the event, the day concluded with the students (in groups of 10) simulating a mock interview scenario in which they were the interview panel, interviewing the 8 STEM ambassadors in turn for several STEM related job roles. 

Each student left the work preparation day having completed a: CV; draft application form; covering letter; and mock interview scenario − preparing them for the types of questions they might expect to encounter in future interviews.

Providing a professional addition to the event, the STEM ambassadors took the lead for each of the activities throughout the day, giving industry examples based on personal job applications and interview experiences where possible. 

Feedback from the students and teachers at St Joseph’s was all extremely positive; they felt the day was a huge success and that the students had really benefited from the event. 

Sophie and I also thoroughly enjoyed attending the work preparation day on behalf of Wessex and look forward to participating in more STEM events in the future!

By Holly Rodgers, Geoarchaeologist