Ema Devine from Lochgelly High School, our Standard Life Aberdeen Student of the Year for Fife, shares how the support of her mentor Sarah and a paid internship with Optos gave her the skills, confidence and opportunity to kickstart a rewarding future.

At the start of the Career Ready programme I didn’t have much confidence or belief in myself. The idea of an internship seemed frightening to me because it was something I wasn’t used to, but I really surprised myself and loved every minute of it!

Having a mentor to support me throughout the Career Ready programme and my internship was great, Sarah really inspired me to push myself to achieve my goals. If I had a problem or needed someone to speak to, I knew I had Sarah. Most importantly, she believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.

The challenges I faced at Optos encouraged me to mature, and I found I really enjoyed working in a more adult environment. Everyone there was supportive, I learnt that I shouldn’t doubt myself and my confidence grew so much.

I achieved more than I ever thought I could during my internship, Career Ready really did change my life and how I see myself.

Over the course of the programme I learnt that it was ok that I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to do in the future because I felt like Career Ready were helping me have the experiences I needed to start making that decision. My internship has helped me realise how much I enjoy trying new things, and in the future I’d love to travel.

I am currently completing an apprenticeship at Optos. Once I have done that I would like to stay in the company and travel abroad, I want to experience what life has to offer.