Oliver Shearer, from Portlethen Academy, Aberdeenshire, completed a two week virtual work experience placement with his mentor Rob at Brightree ltd, a web development company. Here Oliver tells us how this new experience gave him skills, confidence and knowledge for the future.

Along with one other student, Matthew, I was lucky enough to spend two weeks virtually working 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 working on our website, we listened to presentations from other employees at Brightree about their roles and how the business runs.

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

Mathew and I worked together to create a fully functioning blog website. I learnt a lot about content management systems and I am 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 future universities or employers.

During the summer, whilst in lockdown, I also attended some of the Career Ready 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.

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