Work Experience

Work Experience can provide an invaluable insight into the working world. At Yarra we timetable a week of Work Experience at the end of Term 2 (in late June) for our Year 10 students.

In 2017, two of our Year 10 students completed their work experience with some of our Yarra Old Grammarians. Viki Zhou completed her week at law firm Hall & Wilcox with Nikki Carroll (YOG 1996). Dylan McCaffrey completed his week at architecture firm Buchan Group with Lauren Waddell (YOG 2010). Below they share a little bit about their experiences:

I was fortunate enough to be invited to an architecture firm in the heart of Melbourne City. Dressing in work attire and heading into the city each morning gave me a real experience of the hustle of working life. The firm had designed structures from Eastland shopping centre to the breathtaking Doha International Airport and fortunately enough for me, my mentor was a Yarra Old Grammarian, Lauren Waddell, People and Culture Coordinator at the Buchan Group. Lauren showed me around the impressive firm and then assigned me to a project of my own: the design and development of a yacht club nestled along the Dockland Boulevard. I began to calculate dimensions and brainstorm concepts to recreate the building, starting from initial concepts right through to finished designs. Working hand-in-hand in an open plan workspace filled with 100 architects created a space where my imagination of the possibilities for design only grew. It was evident to me that there are no limitations on design and it is only the beginning. I came home from the week exhausted and excited. If there's one thing I discovered, it's that I can really design my future.

Dylan McCaffery, Year 10

I completed my work experience at law firm Hall & Wilcox. On the first morning I was really excited to see what life in a law firm would be like, a career that I would like to pursue after I finish school. My work for the week was arranged and I was placed in the property office with Nikki Carroll, a Yarra Old Grammarian. In this office I was taken through some information related to property law. Throughout the week I assisted in copying and scanning various documents; however, the highlight was certainly the two days I spent in court and was fortunate enough to see real court cases in action. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and am very thankful to Nikki and to Hall & Wilcox for their help and guidance.

Viki Zhou, Year 10

The important thing about work experience is that it provides an opportunity for the student to get to grips with working - meeting deadlines and working in a team. While it may enhance the students’ knowledge and help them with course choices, it can also help them find out more about a job or industry, leading to more informed decisions upon graduation.

During the Work Experience week, an employer hosts the student for the 5 days, hopefully showing them all aspects of their business. The students can do age-appropriate tasks (and students do want to be involved) or shadow an employer. There is a contractual obligation of the student being paid a minimum of $5 per day (some employers will pay more). The School will contact the student whilst they are on work experience, and will try to organise a visit. We also ask the employer to fill out an evaluation form.

We are very interested to hear from other Yarra Old Grammarians who may be able to help us with similar work experience placements in June. Please contact us HERE.

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