Courtney Stewart from Perth High School, our 2019 Standard Life Aberdeen Student of the Year for Perth & Kinross, enjoyed a paid internship and mentoring at Skills Development Scotland. Here, she shares how the experience has given her the skills, confidence and opportunity to kickstart a rewarding future.

Before I started the Career Ready programme I was very shy and unsure of the next steps in my life. Thanks to the support of Helen, my mentor from Skill Development Scotland, and the paid internship I experienced, I’m now much confident in my own abilities and around others, I’ve got a plan for my future, and I’ve secured a job.

Helen helped me to think about the next steps I’d like to take and encouraged me to think more widely about possible career options. She also gave me challenges to complete which put me in situations I would not have otherwise put myself in and supported me to see them through. This has helped me to challenge myself more and realise my own capabilities.

My mentor not only helped me become Career Ready but she also supported me through some personal challenges along the way and I would like to thank her for being there for me.

As part of the programme I also experience a paid, four-week internship at Skill Development Scotland, where my mentor works. During my time there I gained skills I wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to develop, such as communication and team working, in particular contributing my opinions and ideas in team meetings and learning telephone skills.

My plan for the future is to work in early year’s education so I’m delighted that I’ve now secured a job as a play assistant, alongside continuing my studies for a Level 3 SVQ qualification. On completion, I plan to continue studying childcare across a range of child development stages, including special needs, to a higher level.

Learn more about the impact we have on young people such as Courtney or get involved and make a lasting difference.