TWA student completes ‘Dream Placement’

Well done to Ellie Ford, a year 12 student, who secured herself a place on the ‘Dream Placement’ work experience programme. Here she talks about her experience and how valuable she found it.

“‘Work experience’ – you’ll probably imagine a student running back and forth between the photocopier and the kettle making tea for everyone in sight, but not this time. The Dream Placement Scheme, run by the Centre for Leadership Performance, offers the opportunity for Post-16 students in Cumbria to undertake a week’s placement with one of several companies in which they will experience numerous leadership roles. The scheme hopes to raise aspirations in Cumbria and provide an environment where young people can thrive, with the drive and ambition to push themselves to the top.

I was thrilled to be awarded a placement with Costain, which has proven to be an extremely insightful week. I have always had the intention to pursue maths and science but was unsure on the career path to take. This placement has helped me to decide on a career in chemical engineering after meeting with the process team and exploring the various job roles available.

The process began five months ago filling out an application, followed by a ‘Selection Day’, consisting of several group activities and two rounds of interviews. It was then up to the companies to make their selection and I was contacted two days later informing me that I had been successful in securing a Dream Placement with Costain.

During the week I met with a selection of managers and directors of the company to experience what life as a leader involves. This is part of the scheme in an effort to produce the leaders of the future. I was deeply interested in the career paths taken by the current directors in the company, amazed that some of them had started off their career on a graduate programme themselves.

I was lucky enough to experience both aspects of an engineering career, being based on site at Sellafield as well as in the office at Costain House, Manchester. The contrasting nature of these two environments helped me to envisage the numerous career opportunities to an engineering graduate whether that’s in the office or site-based.

Overall the placement has been extremely successful and I hope to keep in contact with those I met during my placement as well as saying a huge thank you to those who made this week possible, I hope to return again soon!”