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How Dream Placement Helped Our Winners

Abigail Caldow
Workington Academy, Project Co-ordinator Cyclife-EDF

Abigail Caldow Dream Placement provided me with so much more than I ever could've expected or wished for. The placement week (with Studsvik) was one of a kind with real hands on learning about the nuclear metal recycling industry where I was provided opportunity to get involved in meetings, carry out a mini project and most importantly to me learn about project management. The experience has set me up for my future as with my host company I am now a Project Management apprentice which would not have been made possible without the Dream Placement week where my day to day activities were extremely similar to what they are now. I would advise all to take the leap and apply for Dream placement because it most definitely will not disappoint.

Hannah Thurogood
Dream Placement at Balfour Beatty

When I first applied for Dream Placement I had no idea what to expect and to be honest, I thought that it would be boring and not much of a dream. However, it was the complete opposite. From the application stage, you are learning. I applied for the February 2016 placement and wasn't successful but I got feedback on my application and took that on board and applied again for this year's placement. You apply and if you are successful, you then get an interview and then they inform you as soon as possible if you have been successful in that as well. So, it is just like you are applying for a real job, so it is a good experience even if you are not successful. I personally was not chosen for an interview with Balfour Beatty, but I was proactive and had an interest in the company, so I went over anyway and I was lucky enough to get myself a placement.

The placement was not like any other work experience, it was one of the most useful experiences which I have done and it has taught me a lot. From the offset, we were meeting people and speaking to people to see how they had got to where they are and how their advice can help me to be successful in my career and get to where I want to be. We spoke to people such as Leo Quinn the CEO of Balfour Beatty and Alun Williams, so again is also high up in the company. We got to experience conference calls and video conferencing as well, which is something I had never done before. During the week, we went on site tours of Sellafield, GSK, NNL and TSP, all of them so different, but all interesting in their own ways and something I would not have been able to see without Dream Placement. In the week, we looked into procurement as well, which is something I didn't know about and didn't understand until the placement, so it shows that there are a lot more job roles that we don't even hear about. We also met with people such as Emma Jayne and Adam Pearson, who are not in the nuclear sector, but built up their own businesses. I personally didn't know of the two businesses Nuexec Recruitment and Adamedia, but both are job roles which are interesting and not everyday jobs which was interesting to see as well. The thing which I liked most about Dream Placement was the fact that Dianne suited the week so that it could help me get to where I want to be, then throughout the week if I thought of something else I would like to do, she would change it to help us as much as she could. Sadly, the placement week is over, but still Dianne is helping me to set up meetings with Alun Willams and people in the career I want to head in (Project Controls), so that I can continue to get help and advice and hopefully be in a project controls apprenticeship in September.

I could not thank Balfour Beatty and the Centre for Leadership Performance team more for the experience and knowledge that they have given me and it will be something that I will use and think about throughout my career.

Ryan Robson
St Benedict's Catholic Sixth Form

Ryan Robson My Dream Placement with Nuvia Ltd was the most informative work placement I have completed. It allowed me to gain an insight into what Nuvia Ltd does, not just in the local area but worldwide. It also gave me a much better understanding of what Project Management is, which is the career path I hope to go down. In addition to this I have been able to talk about the Placement as an example of when I have displayed independence and self motivation and from this I received a summer job in a local cafe in Whitehaven.

Jasper Lithgow
Dream Placement Student 2017

My Dream Placement with GlaxoSmithKline was a sensational and truly life-changing experience. Understanding the way in which science and industry can combine to save millions of lives across the globe, I was excited and highly motivated to be a part of such a morally-rewarding environment. This opportunity provided a unique insight into the implementation of advanced leadership skills, whilst enabling me to discuss such skills and, more broadly, the pharmaceutical industry and its influence within society, with the site director, Mr Phil Wilson, as well as senior members of the leadership team at the Ulverston site. I also had the chance to meet the President of GMS at GSK, and one of the most predominant figures in the industry, Mr Roger Connor.

As a result of my experiences through the Dream Placement, I am now quite certain of my future career path. My success in achieving both an offer, and then A*A*A* at A-Level means I have secured a place to study for a master's degree in Biochemistry at Worcester College, Oxford; in completing the four-year degree, I hope to enter into a career with GSK through their prestigious Future Leaders graduate scheme.

I cannot express the extent to which I would recommend the Dream Placement to future applicants. My story is evidence of how inspiring such an amazing opportunity can be. However, applicants should be cognisant of the highly-competitive nature of such an application; to be successful requires a great commitment to one's future and real enthusiasm for the chosen area of interest.

Amy Scott
Keswick School, NHS Cumbria

Amy Scott After the Dream Placement 2016 I was offered a 9 month internship, starting August 2016, leading up to my apprenticeship which starts in April 2017 with NHS Cumbria Foundation Trust. I've been there almost a month now and I really enjoy it. Without the placement I wouldn't have been entirely sure what career I was planning on taking out, whereas after completing the week where the Trust helped to show me exactly what a HR career path entails I knew the route I wanted to take to pursue a career. I'm really grateful to the Trust for giving me this opportunity and to the Dream Placement scheme as without doing this I wouldn't have accomplished my internship and apprenticeship.

Holli Coulthard

I completed my 2018 Dream Placement with Story Contracting and it honestly was one of the best chances I've taken. It opened my eyes to so many possibilities that I didn't even know existed. During the week, I gained so much confidence and insight into careers that I can honestly say I think it helped me to land my current job as a Trainee Accounting Technician. Dream Placement gives you the confidence to be able to walk into an interview, be yourself and truly shine. I would not be where I am today without Dream Placement and I am so thankful. I would encourage anyone I know to apply for Dream Placement 2019; a once in a life-time opportunity!

Alex Carter
Cockermouth School

Alex Carter I completed my Dream Placement at James Fisher Nuclear Egremont branch. I wasn't directly offered any sort of apprenticeship, university application bonus or summer placement at the company but I did highly enjoy my placement. The whole process of applying for my dream placement boosted my confidence and trained my interviewing skills as well as improving my ability to talk about my own strengths in both formal and informal contexts. The dream placement itself was extremely interesting to me and gave me a greater understanding of what the day to day activities of an employee in the Nuclear Engineering contracting industry would look like. The whole process had a hugely positive impact on my professional abilities and appreciation of the world of work — particularly within the Nuclear Engineering industry.

Georgia Howard
Ulverston Victoria High School

Georgia Howard My experience of Dream Placement has been amazing! Being given the opportunity to work alongside key members of a company is so unique and gives you the best insight into what leadership is really like in the 'real' world. My placement with NSG has given me an unforgettable opportunity and has showed me that I would love to have a managerial role in my future career(s). Not only have I enriched my knowledge of team work, leadership and interview skills, I have been able to go back and work with my company (NSG) in a summer placement. This has given me an increased advantage over others when applying to university.

Likewise I think it is important for potential applicants to know that it is still an amazing experience even if your placement is in an industry you don't want to work in. The opportunity to work with managers in any company is inspiring and a great opportunity. I would just like to say a massive thank you for creating and continuing this fantastic scheme. I encourage everyone to take part — you really are missing out if you don't apply! I loved my week and I am continuing to enjoy it this summer.

Georgia Pearson
West Lakes Academy

Georgia Pearson Dream Placement is a fantastic opportunity to step out of the academic world and into the workplace. I learned so much about myself and where my skill-set could take me in the future. The Dream Placement experience gave me the ability to think independently about my future and possible career options.

The opportunity to spend a week with a successful company like Sellafield Ltd and work alongside professionals surfaced many skills and qualities that I didn't know I had and didn't know I was capable of. The whole experience was interesting, exciting, challenging and invaluable, I wish I'd got involved sooner and would definitely encourage others to apply — you won't regret it.

Alex Messenger and Joseph Moore
St Benedict's High School

Alex and Joseph with Mark Ritchie, Wood operations manager To support the Dream Placement scheme, Wood hosted Alex Messenger and Joseph Moore, sixth form students from St Benedict's High School in Whitehaven. Both Alex and Joseph had a very busy week getting experiences from the engineering and project management capability at Westlakes, as well as a two-day visit to Birchwood in Cheshire where they interviewed two directors (Richard Howells and Lesley Gray), and had an extensive tour of workshops, materials laboratories and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) capabilities. The week finished with them giving a very comprehensive presentation on the topic "What makes a good leader?" to senior members of our Westlakes team.

Joe Moore, Dream Placement student with Wood

Joe applied for Dream Placement with the aim of furthering his understanding of the world of work. He hoped that following the week of work experience, he would better understand what it is like to be an engineer, some examples of their daily challenges and gauge if a career in engineering is something he would like to pursue.

During the week of work experience Joe was given the opportunity to talk to multiple engineers on a more informal level, a chance to feel like one of the team. Joe took on the role of an engineer, performing the sort of tasks that he would be expected to carry out, allowing him to receive a good insight into the life of a Wood employee and make a more educated decision as to whether such a role is one he would thrive in and enjoy, a decision made much easier following the support and development from the Wood employees. Joe happened to really enjoy the tasks set by his host company as they were mathematically challenging, as well as being practical. He was also able to find out more about higher apprenticeships, following discussions with a young engineer called Max.

From the trip to the Birchwood head office, Joe was able to comprehend the scale of the company, with more than 400 offices, in over 60 countries. Joe found this fascinating as, being from Cumbria, he had only really looked into the Sellafield side of engineering. However, from his week on Dream Placement, Joe would now consider a career with the likes of Wood Plc. as there is a huge amount of potential, and could even lead to jobs working abroad, which is something Joe had looked into in the past and would like to do in any career he goes into.

Overall, Joe found dream placement to be an enriching experience, and one he will appreciate and remember throughout his life. He believes that Dream Placement has greatly influenced his opinion on a future career choice and educated him on the array of opportunities available to young people in the area.

At the beginning of the week, Joe's focus was on physiotherapy but now hopes to go to university or gain a higher apprenticeship following the completion of his A Levels. Joe currently plans to gain a master's degree in engineering, which could set him up for a promising career within the industry.

Read more from Joseph Moore's website...

Alex Messenger, Dream Placement student with Wood

Alex believes that Dream Placement was an invaluable experience, which she decided to participate in to aid her in her future career, and with the intention of using the experience to firmly decide on the career path she wishes to peruse. As Alex begins to reach the pinnacle of her school life, there are many decisions which she must make in regards to her future. Before Dream Placement, Alex made the decision that University wasn't what she would like to do, and wanted to apply for apprenticeships with companies in West Cumbria. Alex narrowed her choices down to Health Physics Monitoring or Project Management, which are very different to one another. Dream Placement exposed to Alex to both of these career paths, and encouraged her to further her education into Health Physics Monitoring. Dream Placement is an experience Alex believes she will always value, and something she believes will aid her throughout her career.

Read more from Joseph Moore's website...

Laura-Jade Bennett
Lakes College

I have not received a job offer or an apprenticeship from Sellafield Limited, but the week there has helped me see what it is really like to work in a true business administration environment and helped me definitely decide that I want to work in HR, especially case management. I also met the managing director Paul Foster, who inspired me greatly when he said: "Always say yes to any opportunity given, you don't know where it will lead."

Florence Hanlon
Project Management Apprentice
Sellafield Ltd

Flo Hanlon The CfLP and Dream Placement have impacted me in ways I never anticipated. I initially applied in my final year of Sixth Form; I was Head Girl and had completed work experience in the past but never something that was this individual. I spent the week with Sellafield Ltd working on a multitude of activities and shadowing various senior staff members as well as meeting apprentices.

Prior to the experience I knew I wanted to work within Project Management for a reputable company but Dream Placement was a definite deciding factor for me; it made me realise that Sellafield Ltd was the place I wanted to be. In my interview for Sellafield's Project Management Apprenticeship Scheme, using company knowledge that I had gained over the week allowed me to articulate myself to the highest standard possible.

I believe that Dream Placement was a strong contributing factor as to why I am now a Project Management Apprentice with the company. I now have the opportunity to gain a degree while being in a secure job that will allow me to progress through the company's hierarchy.

I cannot thank CfLP enough for their advice, direction and knowledge throughout the period. This is an opportunity every teenager should grab with two hands.

James Costin
Cockermouth School

James Costin Story Homes offered the Dream Placement to two local students in early 2015, and one of those students enjoyed his time with us so much, he gave up his summer holidays to come back.

James Costin, 17, of Dearham, spent his summer break working with the Story Homes' Commercial and Finance teams. James, a Cockermouth School pupil, originally gained his placement with Story Homes after a successful application and interview. James said: "I came to Story Homes in the February half term and really enjoyed it. I wanted to work in finance but I got an opportunity to work in every department, from land to technical and commercial. One of the Land Buyers at Story Homes encouraged me to consider doing more work experience and I approached the HR team to see if I could come back."

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