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Work Experience Student Guest Blog - Lauren Sibley

Russell HR Consulting have been offering students a work placement for some time. It’s our strong conviction that we should support young people who are about to enter the workplace by giving them a practical and (as much as we can) varied work experience. This week we are hosting Lauren Sibley who wrote the following blog.

It’s always exciting learning something new. However realising that what you've been learning for the last two years isn’t just words on a page but stepping stones into gaining a good job at a reputable firm is a good feeling.

I’m twenty years old and a Business HND student at Bedford College. I am currently in my second year completing my HND and am hoping to finish my degree off at Northampton University. I often think to myself did I make the right decision doing it the un-conventional way, studying at college; staying at home and not gaining the typical ‘university experience’. Today for the first time I think I did make the right decision. Sitting in the HR Headmistress’ office listening to the chatter of Kate, Kirsty, Marta and Chris and thinking “Yes I do understand what’s going on!”

I may only be paying one of the smallest fees at just under £5,000 a year and I’m not at one of the top ten universities in the country but what I am learning is giving me the necessary skills and understanding to go into the work place and start somewhere.

I often think are we putting too much pressure on our students to gain degrees when it is really hard for the graduates to find a job in the area that they've studied in. Can we as a country afford to let students go away for three years on the basis they learn the basic knowledge but have very little experience in the work place? No I don’t think we can, with the increase in students coming out of university with a degree and not getting a job is at an all-time high. In 2013 47% of recruiters said they would not recruit graduates with no experience. This is no wonder 19% of graduates are unemployed and over 36% are in lower skilled non-graduate jobs. How are we able to grow as a country when graduates skills are wasted in non-graduate jobs? What is the point of university if we can’t get our students into a good graduate position which leads to future job prospects?

I have been at Russell HR Consulting for two days and my knowledge and understanding has been strengthened. I can put what I've learnt at college into practice. Of course I’m still learning but books can only teach you theory, participation and conversation is what helps theory stick.

From this I ask is on the job training mixed with a day’s study the necessary structure us students need today. Yes I think it is. How can we learn and grow when our days are just lectures and PowerPoint? Watching, learning, listening and doing are definitely the way forward if we want our students to be in minimal debt and ready to work at a high level.


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