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Cumbrian students give Dream Placements feedback

Published Tuesday, 24 February 2015


Nearly 40 Cumbrian Students have spoken about their experiences of Dream Placements.

Working with the Centre for Leadership Performance (CfLP) and some of Cumbria's top employers including Sellafield, BAE Systems and GlaxoSmithKline, the teenagers joined 24 organisations around the county to get a unique insight into how they operate.

Managing director of the CfLP, Al Mather said: "This year's Dream Placement has brought even more of our great Cumbrian industries and our county's future leaders together in an intensive programme of personal development offering a unique and Rolls Royce experience of industry and leadership at the the highest level.

"Students are contacting the Centre from last year's programme telling us what a dramatic and positive impact that Dream Placement has had on their lives and prospects."

The 39 students were chosen from a longlist of almost 200 from colleges across Cumbria, and were selected following interviews and a selection day over the last few months.

Connor Cassley, a Dream Placement student, said: "Without the dream placement I would not have had this opportunity nor the chance of paid work experience in the summer with such a prestigious company as GSK so for that I am very grateful for all the work both the CfLP team and GSK put in to provide this chance to some very lucky individuals.

"I can honestly say it's the best thing I've done to help improve my chances of an internship through building a strong CV through work experience with local industries."

St Benedict's Catholic High School student, Ashleigh Huddart, who worked on her Dream Placement with the CN Group, believes that the scheme has already helped to reaffirm her determination to follow a career in journalism.

Here's what she said about the scheme:

"The shortlisted candidates attended a Selection Event on 8th December, and were matched to two companies who expressed an interest in them as candidates.

"I was interviewed by Jonathan Lee, Managing Director of the CN Media Group.

"Jonathan was there on behalf of himself and James Higgins (editor of the North West Evening Mail), and was on the lookout for keen and ambitious students, as were the other host companies.

"The 89 were narrowed down to 39 following the Selection Event, and the CN Media Group were one of several companies to take on two students. Eleanor Ovens of Nelson Thomlinson was to be shadowing James Higgins, and I was to shadow Jonathan Lee.

"Students chosen were invited to a Development Day on the January 31, with talks by Andrew Bernard from Enterprise in Education Specialists and Dragon's Den-style activities in order to promote communication between students and participating companies.

"The students at the Development Day were to shadow leaders from these companies in the February half-term (February 16 - 20).

"Throughout the week, Eleanor and I sat in on a court session at Barrow-in-Furness Magistrates Court with a reporter, attended crucial meetings and visited the Cumbrian Newspapers printing press in Carlisle.

"We met goals we set for ourselves on the Development Day and improved our own writing skills, with help from those at North West Evening Mail.

"The week on a whole has contributed to our understanding of the media business from a leadership viewpoint, and has reaffirmed our goals to become journalists.

"Eleanor, currently studying for the final year of her A-Levels, said "Dream Placement has made me realise the work I need to put in to get where I want to be.

"I am more determined to go to university and achieve the grades I am predicted as a result of this week.

"On behalf of myself, Eleanor, and all students that took part in Dream Placement, we would like to thank our host companies and Centre for Leadership Performance for giving us a fantastic opportunity to experience leadership in local businesses."

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In Cumbria, February 24, 2015

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