Rachel Crouthers, from Kirkcaldy High School in Fife, is a 2022 Career Ready Student of the Year. Here, she shares how a four-week paid internship at Fair Isle Family Nurture Centre and the support from her mentor, Carrie, gave her the skills and confidence to kickstart a rewarding future.

Finding my confidence

I’ve always struggled with confidence and used to get very nervous around other people. But the support of my mentor and my internship helped me to find my voice and become more confident around others. I’m now much better at talking to adults and asking questions when I need to.

Meeting new people and public speaking doesn’t faze me as much as it used to do. In fact, I spoke in front of 200 people at the Career Ready awards. There’s no way that would’ve happened a year ago!

Certainty about my future

I also learnt a lot during my internship experience about how I can take my next steps after finishing school. I already knew that I wanted to do something in childcare, but I had no idea how to start a career in it.

My four weeks at Fair Isle Family Nurture Centre gave me insight into childcare careers. I’m now planning on doing a HNC childhood Practice college course and I’m also applying for a Modern Apprenticeship as a Early Years Officer.

But the best thing about my time there was the relationships I built with the other teachers, they made me feel really welcome. In fact, I loved it so much that I now volunteer there once a week!

The support of my mentor

My mentor Carrie helped me a lot during the Career Ready programme, we had a really good relationship. Carrie supported me during my internship and with my school life, she helped me think about what I want to do in the future and helped me decide what subject to study going into my last year of school.

Rachel loved her internship. Straight away I could hear the difference in her and the way she talked about mixing with the staff. She was so confident at her end of internship presentation and talked incredibly positively about the experience and the fact that she now definitely knew she wanted to be an early years officer.

Carrie Lindsay, Fife Council, Rachel’s mentor

The Career Ready programme was the chance of a lifetime, I have so much more confidence than before. I got the chance of real workplace experience, found a good friend in my mentor and developed a better understanding of my career options.

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