I was fortunate enough to secure a 2 weeks work placement at SmartSec Solutions during the final year of my GCSE’s.

They provide security and reception services to some great buildings in London. It was an amazing experience and one that gave me a first-hand insight in to different parts of a business.

During my two weeks I worked with in different parts of the business such as human resources, operations and sales. After speaking to other students from my school and teachers they said this is a unique experience as most others only did basic tasks for their work experience.

In this short space of time I gained some real experience of working in a busy work environment. Perhaps now I am not so keen to rush in to the workplace after all!!

I truly developed my interpersonal skills further and it was definitely a great boost to my confidence too. At one stage I was asked to cover all the incoming phone traffic and take messages (whilst all the management team went in a meeting). I was thrown in the deep end, but only then do you learn to swim. I was nervous after my first one or two calls but then I quickly became more and more comfortable as my confidence grew.

I spent a few days in each part of the business. I first worked with Penny in Sales. This was the part that helped me gain the most confidence as I had to make calls to people who I hadn’t spoken too before. I started by listening to Penny take calls and then once I got the hang of it I did some calls on my own. The aim was just to clarify information that was contained on a sales data base that the company utilised.

The next area I worked in was Human Resources with Maria. I got to learn more about her job and see the kind of tasks she does on a day to day basis. This also helped me in my studies as it gave me some context and real life experience. I was so interested to learn about the different areas of HR and I even got to sit in to an interview for a new applicant.

I also worked in operations with Liam and Kyri. This was quite different to what I expected as I went out most of the days with them in order to do site visits where they checked on their officers and receptionists. The advantage of this was I had the opportunity to visit some great buildings in London.

I also spent a few hours with the Managing Director. This experience also help improve my confidence as I was introduced to new people at different levels and I was lucky enough to sit in a customer meeting with him too. This helped me understand the nature of the business even more and I was able to see things from a customer point of view too.Throughout the rest of the week I did admin work. This included a bit of filing, data entry, creating posters for around the office and working with spreadsheets. Contrary to popular misconception, I hardly made any teas!!!!

I really enjoyed working with Smart Sec solutions as everyone was friendly and helped me work on my interpersonal skills. Once I complete my A levels I want to go on to university and perhaps pursue a career in management and or marketing.
I would recommend any GCSE student seeking a career in the corporate environment to try their best to gain some work experience within a small or large business. There are lots of companies out there who can use students like us……