During the first week of November 2021, IARS welcomed three students to our office on a work experience placement.
With our volunteer placements only having recently returned to being in-person, the IARS team were excited to be working with three students from two sixth forms in London. All three students are currently in their first year of sixth-form college, and engaged with various social action and gender-justice projects within their own school.
The week involved a range of activities, including everything from comms training to discussions about gender justice to podcast recording. Monday began with inductions to IARS as an organisation, focusing on our history, mission and current work. The students then received FutureProof training focused on online risks and opportunities, providing them with both real-world skills. Next, after an introduction to the work that the comms team does at IARS, and some of the software and management tools they use, the students started to work on website building for IARS’ LatinHubUK Project.
On the second day of their placement, we started the day with training and discussion on the topic of social action, with everyone finding and sharing inspirational examples of social action projects in their community. The students then joined our staff team meeting, experiencing different aspects of work and office culture. In the afternoon, they started researching and planning their podcast, continuing to work on this on Wednesday too.
On Thursday, the students and some staff members got together for training and a discussion on the mental health difficulties faced by many young people. We brainstormed ideas and solutions to these problems, and had an informative discussion on the current needs of young people in relation to this. We ended the day with a ‘Meet the Team’ session, where the students got the opportunity to meet virtually with all the staff members to learn more about their roles as IARS and their career paths. This was also a good opportunity for them to discuss their own future career plans and ask questions.
Throughout the week, the students spend time researching, writing, recording and editing their podcast. By Friday, after lots of hard work, it was finished. The end product was a truly inspiring podcast, especially considering it was created completely by the students themselves and in under a week! Listen to it here.
Overall, the week was a great experience for both the students and the IARS team. Sujood Ali, one of the students, summed up her experience with this quote: “Definitely an experience I will take away with me for my lifetime, very efficient, productive and motivating!”