Alex Jay, formerly of the Colchester Institute, joined the Career Ready programme in 2017 and enjoyed a four week paid internship at Career Ready. Here, he shares how the different experiences offered by the programme helped him become confident in his career choices and ready for the world of work.

During my internship at Career Ready, I supported with a range of communication, social media and digital marketing activities. As part of a digital promotion project, I was given the opportunity to travel independently to employers like Wates, Network Rail and Citi Bank in order to interview other students about their experiences. I really enjoyed speaking to other interns, my confidence grew massively and I learnt how to prioritise my time and workload. The internship helped me hone my existing skills in a practical field, giving me a real insight into how they transfer into a workplace environment. 

I was also selected to attend a weeks work experience at PA Consulting in London. I worked as part of a small team, using my existing knowledge of IT systems and GDPR to help develop innovative solutions to significant challenges within the business. At the end of the week, I presented my team’s findings to senior staff from Career Ready, PA Consulting and representatives from the Mayor of London’s Office.

This experience helped me find the confidence to interact with key figures within the technology industry, highlighting the importance of communication and networking skills.

As well as my internship, I was mentored through the programme by Ashley Webb from McConnells Network Solutions in Braintree. I really can’t thank Ashley enough for giving up his time and supporting me through the entire Career Ready programme.

Based on my desired career path, he arranged several workplace visits and made sure I was comfortable and prepared for all of them. He also coached me in communication and presentation skills and helped me decide on a University degree that specialised in the field I wanted to work in.

Now that I’ve completed my studies at Colchester Institution, I’ll be starting a Masters degree in Cybersecurity and Advanced Networking at Edge Hill University, which I’m really looking forward to.  Thanks to the support of Career Ready and my mentor I’m confident that this is the right choice for me and I can’t wait to put my career skills and knowledge into action over the next few years. 

Learn more about how we help young people like Alex kickstart rewarding futures or get involved and make a lasting difference.