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Career Academies UK

Prepare for the world of work

Christopher, Longley Park Sixth Form College, Sheffield

Christopher, a Career Academy graduate from Longley Park Sixth Form College in Sheffield describes his summer internship.

I had two choices about where to go for my Career Academy internship: either Yorkshire Bank or Cadbury. In the end I chose Cadbury because the nature of the placement meant I would get to work in several different departments, rather than just in one role. During my time at Cadbury I've worked in three different teams in total - export demand, customer logistics and finance.

There's nothing about my placement that I've disliked, particularly because the experience has been so different to college. The thing I've found most difficult is that days are longer when you are working and I've had to be extremely self-motivated to get my work done because there is no one constantly chasing me up. Adjusting from college to work and learning to meet tight deadlines every single day is difficult.

In the future I want to work in finance, maybe in a bank, and study a financial degree, so this experience has allowed me put my college work into practice in real life. I've learnt about reclaiming tax in Cadbury, so I've been able to apply the theory I learned in college. My internship has also helped me to understand the crucial role of the finance department in a business and the key factors required to make sure a company is successful.

The fact that I'm the youngest in my team has never bothered me, as a lot of the members of staff at Cadbury are young and everyone has the same goals, so they all work together well. Working with so many different types of people has also helped me to develop in confidence and learn to express my views more clearly.

I would encourage more employers to get involved with a Career Academy because the programme benefits staff as well as students. Employees can learn to explain what they do in a simple way and get to understand their own business better by taking interns, as well as helping young people to make important decisions about their future career.