News & Updates

Experience of a Career Ready Intern

Hello, my name is James McFarland. I am 16 years old and in my last year of school (6th year).

James - Career Ready Intern at Food Standards ScotlandI am now almost coming to an end of my 4 week internship at Food Standards Scotland through the Career Ready scheme. At school I am currently studying Maths, English, Graphic Communication and Modern Studies. I picked theses to give myself a good range of subjects so I have options to move forward in the future.

Career Ready is a scheme which allows young people like myself (between 16-19 year olds) to get work experience over 4 weeks through the summer holidays. They also provide master classes on the lead up to the internship to help with the way you need to act, improve your skills and bring them up to a working standard. They also gave me a mentor from FSS to help with everything I needed to do and know before I start the placement and some skills I would need, for instance social skills for speaking to people around the office.

To get my placement I had to put my name forward which I did by speaking to my guidance teacher. After that I went through an interview process which involved writing a CV and then going for an interview with a Deputy Head teacher and an HR manager from a company. They  then picked seven people that they thought would be best suited for the Career Ready programme.

During my placement I have worked in the communications and marketing team (mostly the marketing side) because I am interested in design, and this is the type of work I have been doing here. However I also did a bit of work for the communications side too, when I put together some social media posts.

Communications and marketing team with Career Ready Intern James
James with the Communications and Marketing team

I have enjoyed working more than school because you are trusted to manage your time and work load. I also enjoyed the type of work that I have been doing here as it goes well with one of my subjects, Graphic Communication which also interests me. I think FSS is a good place to work as it has a friendly working environment and everyone working here is friendly and welcoming too.

I think a place like this would be good to work at when I’m older as I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I have learned a lot during my placement like how a work place operates and how to manage my time and work load. I also learned how to use new computer programs like Photoshop and Adobe Editor which I have never used before. I think it is useful to learn these new  skills and software as I will be able to put these to use in the future.

This work experience has made me think about moving into higher education after I leave school and studying something relevant to marketing as I have enjoyed it and want to take it further.

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