How Dream Placement Helped Our Winners

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

Find out more


Share With Others