18 year old Beverley joined Inspire!’s team for 6 months as part of the Hackney 100 programme, a scheme which gives young people from Hackney access to meaningful, paid work placements in the local area.
When I tell you that word of mouth is such a powerful marketing tool – trust me, it is! I wouldn’t have heard about the Hackney 100 programme if it wasn’t for an eager friend of mine blabbering about how excited she was when she stumbled upon the programme.
Through her blabbering, I managed to take away three key words: experience, money and opportunity. I was sold. My CV was bleak, my bank account was crying and the number of opportunities that had come my way was next to nothing…I knew Hackney 100 was for me.
Next thing I knew, I was at an assessment session, nervous but beaming with excitement. I knew I had to make a lasting impression, and not just through my choice of big curly hair, but through the conviction in my voice and engagement in the tasks. Luckily, I received the email I had been waiting for – “CONGRATULATIONS!”, said the subject line – my face was in total shock.
Shortly after, I found myself on the first day of my placement as the Social Media Assistant at Inspire!, a.k.a the new kid at school…
The staff were surprisingly friendly, and the environment was relaxed. But to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect – I was merely an 18 year old with finite experience and no idea of what I was going to do. However, while working at Inspire! I’ve carried out a wide range of jobs. I’ve stretched myself far more than I ever would have done at a typical work experience placement and have loved every second of it!
There’s a lot more to my job title than just posting on social media. I have attended events, interviewed other young people, presented a couple of times, and have gone out of my comfort zone A WHOLE LOT, but I can truly say that I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I’ve learnt so much more than I would have done attending a lecture, and the programme has really changed the way I see the working world. It has cleared the metaphorical fog of uncertainty and has made me understand how different the world is once you stop being spoon-fed by your teachers.
Inspire! will be a part of my life from now on. I am honoured to have had the opportunity to work with people who are not only passionate about what they do, but are helping to remove the stigma from a beautiful place like Hackney.
This experience has confirmed my decision to study and pursue a career in international relations and help create a brighter future for others.
To find out more about the Hackney 100 scheme and how to take part, visit our webpage here or offer a placement at your business via Hackney Council