They call me the workin’ man, I guess that’s what I am

I did a two day work shadowing placement with the Director/ Chief Executive of Nucleus Arts & Chatham Maritime Trust respectively. Nucleus Arts is a charity that helps disabled and disadvantaged people with Art, giving them accommodation and place to promote themselves. Chatham Maritime Trust runs the Chatham Maritime area in order to promote development, with the aims of making the area the best it can be for ‘Study, Work, Live and Play’.

The primary activity I was doing was spectating team meetings, which involved discussions about new projects, such as opening up a Water Sports Centre, as well as other hard choices the charities had to make, such as the closing down the Nucleus Arts outlet in Maidstone. Other activities included looking into the documentation that the charities had to perform and the operations which the charity had to perform to stay in business.

The University of Kent Work Experience Bursary was used to reimburse my expenses for getting a train from where I live to Chatham and back, and to pay for my hotel expenses to stay the night and have dinner for one night. This bursary helped me to take advantage of this opportunity.

I learnt a range of skills while I was there. Firstly communication skills; such as listening to meetings, in order to comprehend the situation that the discussions were talking about, with staff and external organisations and individuals, as well as composing and integrating myself into the teams. Secondly I acquired enterprise skills; such as commercial awareness from the decisions which the charities had to make about where to allocate financial and other resources. Lastly, I gained many other positive attributes, including confidence and enthusiasm, exemplified by my conduct there, and by travelling there and staying the night independently.

These skills will really help me in the future. Firstly by improving my personal development skills, which is highlighted above. Secondly by improving my appeal to potential future employers, as they look for many of the ‘soft skills’ which I both acquired and improved upon in this work shadowing placement. This will give me a more holistic skill set, which improves my employability, adding value to potential employers and my career path.

– Thomas Owen is a 2nd year Accounting and Management with a Year in Industry student.

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