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Career Academies UK

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Charlotte, Orpington College, Kent

Charlotte graduated from the Career Academy of IT at Orpington College in 2009 and is now studying Computing at the University of Greenwich.  She completed her internship at Morgan Stanley.

The Career Academy programme was recommended to me by my course tutor when I was in my first year studying a BTEC National Diploma for IT Practitioners. I decided to take part in the programme as I thought that it would be an excellent opportunity to develop the different skills needed to succeed in my career whilst working towards my goals and learning more about what it is like to work in an office environment.

There are a number of skills which I developed through my experiences on the Career Academy programme which I still use today.  The CV and interview techniques and presentation skills have come in particularly useful whilst applying for industrial placements and part time jobs.

I completed my internship at Morgan Stanley in Canary Wharf.  I was placed in the Enterprise Data Group and the Advisory Technology Group.  My role was a mixture of business administration and information technology; this meant that I was able to develop a wide range of skills throughout the placement which proved very useful in my final year at college.

During my internship I think that the skills which I developed most were my formal communication skills, for example, composing formal emails and business telephone etiquette and my presentation skills.

Before my internship I had had a very vague idea about where I wanted my career to go.  I knew that I wanted to work in technology; however I was not aware of the range of opportunities that were available to me. The internship not only taught me that I thoroughly enjoy working in an office environment; it also opened my eyes to the opportunities available to those wishing to work in technology.

Had I not have taken part in the Career Academy programme I believe that it would have taken me longer to get to where I am today; before my Career Academy experience I had a very vague idea of where I wanted my career to go and I was not very confident in my own abilities. The Career Academy helped me to gain a clearer idea of where I wanted my career to go and the steps which I needed to take to achieve my career goals.

The biggest change which my family and friends noticed in me following my participation in the Career Academy programme was the dramatic increase in my confidence and drive in terms of my career and how I planned to meet my personal career goals.  Upon completion of my industrial placement year, I am aspiring to achieve a first-class degree and to become a successful IT professional in an application support role.

I would strongly recommend the Career Academy programme to future students, especially if they are unsure about where they would like their career to go. The Career Academy programme gives students valuable experience which they can take with them throughout their careers.  The programme gives students the confidence and skills to succeed in defining and meeting their personal career goals.