I’m Chloe, I’m from Greenock, near Glasgow, and I want to be a businesswoman.
It’s hard to get part time work experience when you’re still at school — everyone wants you to have experience already. Luckily I heard about the EY Foundation Smart Futures* programme through my school – Inverclyde Academy. It’s a ten month programme starting with three weeks paid business work experience in the summer which I’ve just completed.
I studied lots of different subjects last year [Fifth Year in Scotland/ Year 12 in England and Wales] because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I hoped to find out more about business on the programme and that’s exactly what happened.
Because of Smart Futures I’m now picking business and accounting subjects for the new school year because I know I want a career in business.
I enjoyed the whole programme; I really can’t pick a favourite part. I met a good group of people and made new friends and we’ve been meeting up regularly. I got to work in the student recruitment team at EY and also got to meet different businesses. I enjoyed the independence I had. I’ve learnt it’s good to question and to be confident in putting my ideas forward. I’ve also gained confidence in presenting and I was even able to complete a newsletter during my work experience — I’m really proud of that.
My Smart Futures mentor, Margaret, is supporting me throughout the next 10 months — I think it’s really important in the last year of school to have someone to talk to about all the decisions you have to make – there are so many.
In my opinion, it’s important for more businesses to give opportunities like this to young people as after all we’re the next generation, and one day we’ll be working to pay for them!
*Smart Futures is a national initiative run by the EY Foundation – a new independent charity founded by EY the professional services firm last summer. The charity runs its own employability programmes (funded through donations) designed to give young people disadvantaged in the labour market a chance to get the experience they need to get ahead in work and enhance their employment prospects.
The programme is currently available in ten locations across England and Scotland. It is a ten month programme that starts with three weeks of paid business work experience. Students learn about professional services, meet entrepreneurs, and work with senior people both from EY and other employers in each city or town in which the programme runs. In addition, the students learn valuable tips on writing CVs, job applications, interview advice and have access to an EY Foundation mentor to provide advice and support throughout their final year at school.