Max gives a glimpse of life at Construction Youth Trust!

Here's what our fabulous Schools and Programme Intern Max has to say about his first three months at the Trust!

Having attended a secondary school that was under OFSTED special measures, I have always wanted to work within education, in particular helping those young people facing the biggest barriers to realising their full potential. When I saw the internship advertised at the Trust, I immediately applied. Now, I’ve been here just over three months and feel very much part of the Construction Youth Trust family!

The interview process was the best I’ve ever had, starting with an informal chat with some colleagues I would be working with to shake out any nerves, as well as providing an opportunity to ask some questions before the formal interview. This worked exactly as intended and felt really organic, which is not something which can be said for every interview process.

Everyone seemed very relaxed and friendly at the Trust and when I left the interview, I was simultaneously pleased as I thought it had gone well, and nervous to hear back as after meeting everyone I knew I really wanted to get the job! The next week I got the call that I had been accepted and the following week I started my new job!

My first week at the Trust was hectic. The schools had just come back from the summer holidays and it was important for me to quickly meet with our school contacts and plan the engagement strategy for the year. My manager, Pearl, brought me along to a whole host of meetings which was really helpful in allowing me to get my head around all the different aspects of what the Trust does – definitely more helpful than spending my first week in the office reading through policy documents!

I started to shadow my colleagues in their delivery of our Schools Partnership sessions and it wasn’t long until I began delivering these sessions by myself. At first solo delivering was very daunting as I went from assisting with sessions to standing in front of the class on my own, but I now feel really comfortable delivering.

I have taken an active part in helping my team recruit for our Budding Brunels programmes, ranging from contacting schools, delivering recruitment assemblies, keeping track of applications and helping deliver the actual programmes themselves. Recently I have been tasked with drafting reports for these programmes, which has not only been one of the most enjoyable tasks that I’ve had to complete so far, but has been very useful in helping me to take stock of the programme and how effective it was in introducing the young people to construction careers.

In 2020, I am really excited to focus more on our community-based projects, a side to our delivery that I’ve not seen yet, and experience first-hand how our work supports harder-to-reach young people in recognising and achieving their career potential.

Throughout my first three months the Jack Petchey Foundation has been a massive source of support for me.  I’ve attended a 2-day residential at Gilwell Park which revolved around teambuilding (and most importantly provided a forum to meet our fellow Jack Petchey Interns!) as well as the first of five personal development workshops; the first of which was designed to improve our public speaking skills. I found the workshop to be incredibly useful, especially considering public speaking is a skill that I use constantly in my role. The Foundation has sourced personal mentors for each intern to help support our development and I look forward to meeting my mentor and discussing my future career pathways.

I am incredibly grateful to both Construction Youth Trust and the Jack Petchey Foundation for investing in my personal development - it would have been very easy to put me into an entry-level role as an administrative assistant, but I have been stretched and challenged (just enough) in my role so far! I’m looking forward to utilising the £1,000 Jack Petchey Foundation training bursary to its fullest and I am currently planning to use most of this on training courses for analytical software packages such as SPSS and NVivo as this is an area in which I feel I am lacking.

My advice to those thinking about applying to the Jack Petchey Internship Programme is don’t think twice – just do it! Nowhere else will you get such an opportunity to work for such amazing youth organisations while being paid at the same time. Being part of a network of interns is a great opportunity to meet like-minded young people – if there is one thing that I have learned so far in my role it is that networking is a vital skill to have and that any opportunity to build your network should be taken with both hands.