Joe Williams from West Derby School in Liverpool is the winner of our 2018 Leidos Student of the Year for the North West. Here, he shares how an internship at Health Education England has helped him prepare for a successful future.

Before I started Career Ready I was a very shy person, completely lacking in self-confidence and what I could do. Thanks to my time on the programme, the support of my mentor and the internship I experience at Health Education England, I’m now much more confident, happy, and excited about the opportunities available to me in the future.

The entire programme has really helped me, but I think that the bit which has impacted me the most was a visit to the Sainsbury’s depot and the logistics centre for Superdrug. It allowed me to see all the IT system for controlling what needs to go where. It’s my ambition to become a software developer and work in Silicon Valley so it was great to see all of this in action.

I attended all of my masterclasses on the skills needed for career success but one really stood out – ‘the preparation for work’ one was really beneficial in helping me to think about how to conduct myself during my internship at Health Education England.

My internship helped with my confidence and allowed me to come out of my shell.

During my internship at Health Education England, I worked on the education transformation programme and helped build a new website for 38 NHS trusts. I also built them a database of contacts. It helped me realise how much I want to do this as a career.

The team at Health Education England were great and really helped to bring me out of my shell. They helped me build up my presentation skills and in my end of internship presentation, I did a slide showing all the acronyms they use which I didn’t understand when I started. They got me to present that slide to the whole team in the North West and asked me back to do a presentation on apprenticeships.

Now that I’ve left the Career Ready programme, my plan is to go to one of the Liverpool universities and study computer science. My dream is to become a software engineer or web developer and hopefully work in Silicon Valley one day.

Learn more about how Career Ready helps young people like Joe kickstart a successful future, or get involved and make a lasting difference.