What is it like to be a work experience student at the CBI?

For the past two years the CBI have worked with the Social Mobility Foundation to offer young people the chance to work with us for one week. This foundation brings together young people from low-income backgrounds to gain work experience that help shape their future career aspirations. We really enjoy having work experience students around because it provides our staff with opportunities to support and engage with young people and also mentor others.

We asked our work experience students what they liked the most about their experience here, and also what they think business should do to improve how they engage with young people. Here is what some of them had to say!

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Sherriff, Barking Abbey, who studies History, Geography, Psychology, and Economics

Q: What university do you want to go to?

A: “Kings College, Birmingham, Queen Mary, or Warwick”

Q: What is your favourite part of your work experience at the CBI?

A: “The free food. And, it was really fun going to visit the Airbnb offices.

Q: Has your work experience influenced your career choice?

A: “Before I had an interest in political advisory, but now I definitely want to get into it”

Q: How do you think businesses should improve how they work with young people?

A: “Businesses should promote their internships better by using social media, and they should go into schools more.”

Ramil, Illford County HIgh who studies Maths, History, Government Politics, and Biology

Q: Do you want to go to university or college?

A: “I am interested in finding out more about the school leaver programmes with the big 4 accounting firms”

Q: Why did you choose the CBI to do your work experience?

A: “I took Politics in year 12 and have an interest in finance. I was impressed that the CBI represents 190,000 organisations and is able to organise ideas across all of them. I also find lobbying very interesting”

Q: What was your favourite part of the work experience?

A: “My favourite part was meeting the employees and getting to network with them. One gave me tips on how to start an app, another taught me about business models”

“My favourite part was meeting the employees and getting to network with them”

Q: Has the CBI influenced your career choice?

A: “Yes it has enhanced my passion for entrepreneurship. I am working on a FinTech startup and many of the tips I got here will really help me out.”

Q: What can businesses do to improve how they work with young people?

A: “Businesses should provide more work experience. For example Goldman Sachs provides CV and leadership workshops, other big organisations should also be doing this.”

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Aiqing, The Southern Consortium 6th Form, who studies Economics, English, Maths, Further Maths, and Chinese

Q: What universities are looking to apply to?

A: “London School of Economics, Aberdeen University, Goldsmiths, and Warwick”

Q: Why did you choose the CBI to do your work experience?

A: “It is aligned to my pathway and subjects”

Q: What was your favourite moment of the work experience?

A: “We were taken to the foreign office, and since I am thinking of working for the government I was able to talk about the different pathways I could take to work there.”

Q: Has your work experience influenced your career interest?

A: “Understanding more about the EU campaign has proven that the government, or other politically oriented organisations, are right for me”

Q: What should businesses do to improve how they work with young people?

It is hard to reach businesses, they can be untouchable”

A: “The best organisations take on work experience students and offer apprenticeships. Businesses should offer programmes to link up with students to improve networking. It is hard to reach businesses, they can be untouchable.”

summer intern Sana
Sayana, Kingsbury High School 6th Form who studies Economics, Maths, Chemistry and Biology

Q: What universities are going to apply to?

A: “Loughborough, Birmingham, Aston, and Nottingham”

Q: Why did you choose the CBI to do your work experience?

A: “When the offer came through I took it right away because it wasn’t a purely private sector organisation. It is unique because it is between business and the government.”

Q: What was your favourite moment during your work experience?

A: “The social media day was my favourite. We got interviewed as a CEO/representative of the CBI and had to think quickly about the answer to the following: “If Nigel Farage came to the annual conference, why did the CBI invite him? It was great practice!”

Q: Did your work experience influence your career choice?

A: “Yes, i’ve always wanted to work in a business environment with different specialists working together.”

“Students currently have no idea what opportunities are open to them at businesses unless they research them”

Q: What should business do to improve how it supports young people?
A: “Students currently have no idea what opportunities are open to them at businesses unless they research them. Businesses should go into schools, offer more apprenticeships, and tell students about the different options they have available to them.”

 

For more information on the work experience programme at the CBI please contact Ryan at Ryan.Albrighton@cbi.org.uk


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