Oliver Shearer, from Portlethen Academy, Aberdeenshire, completed a two week Virtual Work Experience placement at Brightree Ltd and took part in our Careers in Conversation series. Here, he shares how they gave him vital workplace skills and knowledge.

I was lucky enough to spend two weeks working virtually with the team at Brightree ltd. We were tasked with creating a new website using Orchard CMS, which is a content management system. In between, we listened to presentations from other employees at Brightree about their roles and how the business runs.

Having the work experience fully virtual wasn’t an issue for me. I was able to complete my work with very few problems and communication with the rest of the team ran very smoothly via Microsoft Teams.

I worked with another student, Matthew, to create a fully functioning blog website. I learnt a lot about content management systems and I’m now able to create my own personal portfolio website so that any future employers can learn about me.

My favourite part of the internship was learning how a web development company like Brightree operates. The meeting I had with their end product tester was really interesting and I enjoyed learning about the process of testing newly built websites.

We thought it was important to offer our mentees some form of internship, despite the challenging circumstances. It is such a central part of the overall Career Ready experience, and really can help mentees to prepare for working in a commercial environment.

We were delighted with how Oliver and Matthew adapted to the new plan, and their enthusiasm and dedication made it easy for us to balance our daily workloads with the needs of the mentees. We saw how quickly young people can adapt and learn new skills, and the level of teamwork that they both displayed was exceptional.

Rob Dougan, Senior Software Engineer, Brightree

My Virtual Work Experience week went really well, I learnt a lot about web development and I gained a nice looking website out of it that I can send to universities and employers.

During the summer lockdown, I also attended some of Career Ready’s Careers in Conversation sessions. I learnt about industry sectors, career pathways and the entry points to those careers. It was really useful to learn about so many routes into work.

I think it’s important that these kinds of learning opportunities are offered to young people, especially at the moment. It’s really helpful to be able learn about what your options are, figuring out what career might suit you, and how you can get there.

Discover how you can make a difference to the life of a young person like Oliver.